XIHA is a Finnish startup developing XIHA Life, a multilingual social media platform and an online community targeted at people living outside their home country, and the multilingual people around the world. XIHA invites users of any language, but adjusts the user experience to each user so that they only see automatically the content they understand. Despite the current economic climate, XIHA has raised a significant amount of risk capital from a Chinese VC.
Jani comments it’s hard to find risk capital in Finland to support global growth. According to Jani the Finnish VC’s thought the risk was too big. Out of the international VC’s Jani thought Chinese were the best, as they have both money and vision.
The amount of investment was not disclosed. However, the amount is rather significant, as the founder and CTO Jani Penttinen says with it the company will open offices in the US, Switzerland, and China, and will hire ten more people, developers and business roles, to achieve 24h global operations. Another ten will be hired later depending on the economical climate. There is also more money coming if certain growth targets will be hit. XIHA has strong Chinese roots due to Jani working in the country, and Jani’s spouse Sun Xiaowen being Chinese. “Xiha” means ‘fun’ or ‘happy’ in Mandarin Chinese, and also ‘Hip-Hop’ in Cantonese.
As of now, XIHA is still losing money, but the goal is to get to profitability by the end of the year. So far the main income source has been downloadable games, but XIHA is planning to expand to other digital products as well. Below is a quick interview with Jani Penttinen from Slush Helsinki.