Startup Gjirafa shakes Albanian startup ecosystem with a $2 million deal

Startup Gjirafa shakes Albanian startup ecosystem with a $2 million deal
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     The first thing that must come to your mind as soon as you hear the word “search” is Google. This brand became a widely-used term associated with information search a long time ago. However, it turns out that Google is unable to make everyone happy with the results, and some regions need their local search machines. In Albania and Albanian-speaking countries, this is the case.
     Recently, Albanian search startup Gjirafa disclosed a big sum of investment attracted for further advancement of their search engine. Gjirafa company’s CEO and co-founder Mergim Cahani presented a search engine that is designed to overcome the complexity of the Albanian language together with another associated problem: Albanian users often cannot get access to the information they search because it just doesn’t yet exist online.

Startup Gjirafa shakes Albanian startup ecosystem with a $2 million deal

     In this connection, Gjirafa team are currently moving a lot of offline information to online platforms, like fragmented bus timetables. The company’s long term ambition deals with digitalization of the whole country, starting with a Yelp-style database of local business community and venues. Most of Albanian businesses currently have no online presence at all. One more Gjirafa startup’s mission is about capturing location imagery, like Google’s Street View.
     Rockaway Capital, an investment company based in Prague, provided Gjirafa startup with $2 million to advance their search engine and undertake the digitalization mission. This funding deal is about to make Gjirafa the local leader in search technologies, e-commerce and online advertising. But the initial aim of Gjirafa’s support deals with information digitizing and indexing in Albania and Kosovo, which is put as a part of “growing the Balkans’ internet economy’ program. American angel investor Esther Dyson, Credo Ventures Partner Ondrej Bartos and Ronald Berger Managing Partner Philip Staehelin are also among the investors.

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