Oct 29, 2014 Reetta Heiskanen
Imagine typing a tweet in English and having it appear in fluent Chinese a few minutes later in Weibo, the leading Chinese social media site. Or writing a press release for your company in your mother tongue and getting it translated into five different languages during the same day.
Transfluent is making this possible. The platform uses 125 213 professional translators worldwide to help the customer to automate communications in over 100 languages.
The company is able to translate all the communication channels that the customer is using – for example Zendesk messages, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo posts. Transfluent also translates apps and games into for example the top 10 most popular languages.
So far, the company has raised a total of $3,3 million in funding. In January this year, they announced a 900% increase in sales. Let’s hear what has brought them this far!
The story begins some eight years ago when I was living in China and started a company there. I didn’t speak any Chinese, and the locals didn’t speak English, so I learned to appreciate the importance of localized communication, and saw the difficulty of finding translators.
The idea stayed with me over the years, until three and a half years ago I was at a point where I could start building something new – Transfluent.
I have lived in 5 different countries, on 3 continents, and even now in my home we speak three different languages – English, Chinese and Finnish. I get to see the challenges with language barriers in daily life, and I know that what we do matters a lot. Being able to build something that could impact the lives of billions of people, and affect the global economy, is a major inspiration.
We have been pretty lucky that the problem we are solving is quite obvious to everyone, and so far it has been relatively easy to land great customers, and raise funding when needed. Obviously building a startup is never easy, and I have learned many lessons the hard way, but I really have no major complaints. A fantastic ride so far!
I have learned that it is important to think big enough. We actually had some trouble signing the first customers when we started out small, back in Finland. We could have easily given up back then, thinking that our idea sucked.
Later, when we decided to steer focus to the US market and go after the biggest brands and most successful companies on the planet, we found out that not only is it easier to land business deals with them, but they also totally love what we do. This experience has taught me that there is absolutely no goal that is too ambitious, and often it is indeed better to go after the big fish!
Funnily enough, it all happened without planning, over some drinks at one of the Slush parties last year. I bumped into Tero Ojanperä and we had a very good conversation. We kept talking through Slush and the whole deal was basically finalized while I was at the Helsinki airport about to board a flight back to Silicon Valley.
Brian Halligan, the Founder & CEO of Hubspot opened up the Founder stage on Day 2 by telling us what was the word of the year chosen by Dictionary.com – misinformation. There is a huge trust issue between buyers and sellers, which companies need to react to. This is where customer experience comes in. During […]
Justin Rosenstein, the Co-founder of collaboration tool Asana opened the Pink Stage with the useful hands-on advice on building powerful ideas and ‘growing smart’. He also announced the recent Asana’s $50 million Series E round, which catapulted Asana to $1.5 billion valuation. Justin, known as the creator of the Facebook’s “Like” button shared how through […]
Modern Meadow has been pushing the traditional leather industry to the edge by creating biofabricated materials from growing cells into a new type of material inspired by leather. We had an opportunity to have a chat with Andras Forgacs, the co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow and get a sneak peek into some topics what he […]
Fumiko Kato, CEO of WAmazing, is one of the speakers of Slush Tokyo 2018. WAmazing provides a free network service for the tourists coming to Japan. Since she founded WAmazing in 2016, the highly qualified system has been evaluated and the application has more than 80,000 downloads. Now, the service is opened only to tourists […]
Obvious Ventures was founded three years ago on a simple belief that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones solving humanity’s biggest problems. Today, Obvious Ventures has invested in more than 40 world positive companies. I got a chance to hit up with their Founding Partner Vishal Vasishth who co-founded Obvious […]
Funding Circle has one mission: to become the world’s leading small business lending platform. Since 2010, they have channeled more than $5 billion to more than 37,000 small businesses around the world. This has created roughly 100,000 new jobs and produced an investor network of 72,000 individuals, companies and institutions. Behind this is CEO Samir […]
Leila Janah is the founder and CEO of Samasource, a self-funding nonprofit, which reduces global poverty by outsourcing digital labor to impoverished places around the world, and LXMI, the organic skincare brand. Both companies were recently highlighted on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. Leila is one of the Slush 2017 speakers and I had […]
In just two days, the world will descend upon Helsinki. Entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, students, scientists and professionals will come together in Messukeskus, the biggest convention space in Finland, to experience the highly anticipated, full-packed days of Europe’s leading startup event. Who better to prepare us for the action than team captain, CEO Marianne Vikkula? Below, […]
Nokia is heading into the growing VR industry with OZO Live, a software solution that runs on reference hardware and enables the OZO camera to broadcast live VR experiences at scale. Visitors at Slush get to have a glimpse of premium live broadcasting of 3D 360 VR video as well, since selected programs from Black […]
Subscribe to our newsletter to know about our ticket sales!
We collect cookies to make your experience here smoother.