Founded in 2013, Gjirafa, Inc. is the fastest growing internet services company in the Balkans. Gjirafa is a video content and e-commerce platform built on top of an Albanian language specialized search engine. It serves over 3 million unique active monthly users spanning from Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia to the Albanian diaspora in over 50 countries worldwide.
Growing extremely popular in the past few years, Gjirafa’s video platform and new SVOD service offer both original and curated third-party content.
After partnering with local right owners to deliver FIFA World Cup 2018 games via its streaming platform, Gjirafa is getting ready to offer a wider variety of popular streaming content.
Poised to become the go-to video streaming service in the region, Gjirafa partnered with Streamroot to help scale its video delivery capacity to its rapidly growing viewer base.
We met with Mergim CAHANI, Founder and CEO of Gjirafa, for a chat about the business, video delivery and the future of streaming.
Gjirafa recently started creating its own shows. What type of content do you create and what brought you to invest in original content?
At Gjirafa Video we are focused on two areas, (1) original content that we produce and (2) providing the platform for premium publishers to stream their own content. On the former, we recognized that there is a high demand for original content back in 2016, when we launched a premier show and “broke the Internet” in Kosovo for a few minutes with 200,000 views in three hours. As we have an excellent network with the industry key players, it came as a natural development for us to start producing. Today, we are on our way to becoming a leader in regional show production.
Can you tell us a bit about the state of broadcasting in your region from an online streaming perspective?
All I can say is that it is emerging, and it is emerging rather fast. To put it in context, the Balkans region is in South East Europe, and given the historical struggles that this region has been through in the past decades, it has struggled to keep up with the rest of Europe. Today however, it has a lot of catching up to do and it is being done very fast and often skipping a generation of technology. Gjirafa’s positioning itself as an Internet Economy builder is in the right place, at the right time, with the right technology to provide these services to the market. Today we have several million views a month and it is growing fast.
Are there specific challenges you face in delivering live sports?
The main challenge in delivering live sports is efficiently handling huge traffic while maintaining quality at peak. Further, since watching sports online is rather a new trend , we are focusing on educating our clientele to take advantage of this opportunity for business development and sales.
What made you decide to partner with Streamroot?
We love Streamroot technology. It matches well with our own in-house built scalable OTT solution. It makes it much easier to handle peaks, and it is very easy to implement and maintain. I believe that Streamroot is at the forefront in making sure that future streaming functions effectively – and very importantly – efficiently.
What challenges has Streamroot helped Gjirafa rise to?
It is very simple: Streamroot helps us face the challenge of efficient streaming at an effective cost, while maintaining high streaming quality.
How did you find working with Streamroot and the team? Would you recommend Streamroot to other broadcasters or online video platforms?
The Streamroot team and product are amazing. The team is very proactive and accessible at any time. We would definitely recommend Streamroot to other broadcasters and OVPs.
Where do you see Gjirafa in the next few years?
As I mentioned earlier, the region is adapting to new technologies at a higher rate than in highly developed markets. In this respect, I believe that this region has the potential to experience a paradigm shift, for the masses, in terms of switching to primarily online content consumption. We at Gjirafa will be there to fill in that demand.
To learn more about how Streamroot helps broadcasters increase streaming capacity and improve QoS while reducing costs, contact us today.