The Albanian search startup Gjirafa has just raised $2 million series A round by Rockaway Capital. In brief, Gjirafa is the Albanian version of Google, helping Albanian speakers have better search experience when browsing the web. The startup, founded by Mergim Cahani, was introduced to the public in 2014, when it applied for the 3-month-long Startup Yard technology program for startups based in Prague.
According to Digjitale, the company was officially launched on October 9, 2014 when all visitors were offered a similar user experience to the one on Google, with a focus on one language and a segmented part of the web. Since, Google has also worked upon expanding its features to the Balkan countries with projects like Google Street View in Macedonia and Google.al.
As Techcrunch announces it, this new funding received by Gjirafa is intended towards “growing the Balkan’s internet economy” and making a new Balkan web search leader by means of indexing and digitizing information from Albania and Kosovo. The company is not new to investors, and has already had several investments from U.S. angel investor Esther Dyson, Credo Ventures, and Philip Staehelin from Roland Berger.
Rockaway stated that the investment “will be used to grow online search, e-commerce, and online advertising infrastructure that is sorely lacking in Europe’s fastest growing region”. As they announced, this deal also calls Rockaway to commit considerable amount of resources that will help build the regional internet economy.