Subscribe to our newsletter

Czech Startup Carvago Expands into Kosovo* in a Strategic Joint Venture

In a strategic alliance set to redefine the automotive landscape in the Balkans, Czech startup Carvago partners with Kosovo's tech behemoth Gjirafa, embarking on an ambitious expansion into the region

In a bold move marking its foray into the Balkans, the Czech startup Carvago has announced a groundbreaking joint venture with Kosovo’s tech giant Gjirafa, often dubbed the ‘Amazon of the Balkans’.

This collaboration is set to revolutionize the used car market in Kosovo*, introducing a blend of technological prowess and automotive expertise to a burgeoning market.

Carvago, known for its innovative online marketplace that connects foreign car dealerships with buyers, aims to leverage Gjirafa’s extensive local knowledge and digital infrastructure. Gjirafa, with its roots as a search engine, has evolved into a leading video platform and online marketplace, mirroring the success stories of Western counterparts like Netflix and Amazon.

The venture, dubbed Carvago by Gjirafa, represents a significant step for Carvago’s planned Balkan expansion, adding Kosovo* to its existing presence in seven European markets. “This is a pilot project of sorts; we’ve never attempted anything quite like it,” remarked Jakub Šulta, Carvago’s founder. The synergy between Carvago’s automotive offerings and Gjirafa’s marketing and media prowess is expected to generate substantial demand in a market ripe for disruption.

Kosovo* presents a unique opportunity and challenge due to its relatively untapped used car market, hindered by tariffs and other import barriers. The joint venture aims to address these challenges by offering services familiar to European consumers, such as warranties, insurance, and financing options, thereby building trust and accessibility in the local market.

With an initial investment of one million euros, the venture is poised to sell hundreds of vehicles in its inaugural year, signaling a robust start to Carvago’s Balkan journey. The success of this model could pave the way for similar expansions across Europe, according to Šulta.

The collaboration also signifies a potential roadmap for Carvago’s expansion into neighboring countries such as Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia, as hinted by Gjirafa’s founder, Mergim Cahani. This expansion is consistent with Carvago’s impressive growth trajectory, having reported a 50% increase in revenue last year, with ambitions to replicate this success in the current fiscal year.

This strategic alliance not only marks a significant milestone for Carvago and Gjirafa but also signals a burgeoning interest in the Balkan automotive market from international investors. With the backing of prominent Czech investors, including Rockaway Capital’s Jakub Havrlant and Credo Ventures’ Ondřej Bartoš, the venture is well-positioned to navigate the complexities of the regional market and set a new benchmark for automotive retail in the Balkans.

Must Read

Milica Uraz, CEO, Steel Impex

Transform Waste into a Valuable Resource

Thanks to constant innovations and work to improve quality over the past 15 years, Steel Impex has become the leader of Serbia’s waste recycling...