There’s nothing like a distinct segment language to create a kind of lock-in for a startup, and that’s precisely what’s occurred with e case of Gjirafa. Focusing completely on Albanian-speaking nations, co-founder and CEO Mergim Cahani began out growing an Albanian language search engine after which actually digitizing the nation’s info, from bus timetables to a database of native companies and venues, and past.
Buyers had been been interested in this ’emerging-market strategy’ and put in a $2 million Sequence A 3 years in the past to “develop the Balkans’ web financial system” by digitizing and indexing info in Albania and Kosovo, thus making Gjirafa the regional chief in search, e-commerce, and internet advertising.
As we speak it claims three million month-to-month distinctive customers throughout its providers and has now raised a collection B spherical of $6.7M from Rockaway Capital, which has been backing the corporate since 2016. The brand new funding is meant for scaling the present merchandise regionally.
The Sequence B will permit the corporate to double their present staff (presently at 70 full time, and about 100 in complete with part-time), scale with the present merchandise regionally, and ship different digital providers that aren’t out there within the area.
Dušan Zábrodský, funding companion at Rockaway, says: “Mergim Cahani and his staff validated our belief and actually succeeded in constructing a centrepiece of innovation for the entire area. Due to this very constructive expertise we’re dedicated to construct up a digital financial system within the area and we actively discover new funding alternatives the place we are able to use our information to digitalize conventional industries.”
He says Rockaway group’s funding is long-term and strategic as a result of they assume Gjirafa may turn into and a complete platform/community of extra providers that can be used all through the area.
Utilizing the identical technique, Rockaway beforehand discovered success within the DACH area, the place it constructed up an internet journey group underneath the Invia Group model, and within the subject of e-commerce by means of Mall Group, which operates on seven markets within the CEE area. These teams have contributed considerably to Rockaway’s revenues, which crossed the brink of EUR 2 billion in 2018.
Gjirafa has turn into the most important e-commerce participant within the area having a number one OTT product: GjirafaVideo and GjirafaStudio, equal to Hulu and Netflix; producing personal content material and presently has about 1 million minutes of video consumed a day (and rising double digits on month-to-month foundation), and over 80 reside channels on-line.
Gjirafa, Inc., is the quickest rising firm within the area, and the expansion is spectacular at 314% CAGR. To place it in perspective: when GDP indicators are normalized for the Balkans area vs the US, it has an equal income progress as Google had between 2001-2004 and persevering with on the identical path.