A couple of days ago we shared a story about 7 Kosovo Startups to Watch, which created a lot of noise around the community and led to dozens of requests in our mailbox for startups to watch in Albania and elsewhere.
We took the challenge and started researching the Albanian Startup Ecosystem. While doing so, we saw there’s a sort of trend for food delivery apps/products, whereas 50% of the startups on our list are tied to this type of product, but there are also startups that are aiming to launch in the US and some who are close to making their first exit.
Albania offers some interesting opportunities for startups, including the possibility to launch with zero taxes until a certain amount of revenue has been established. There are also accelerators that have just launched their programs and incubators and coworking spaces that support startups in their early stages.
While talking to other tech industry leaders in Albania, we came up with the list below that resembles the 6 most exciting startups that are based in Albania and that are planning or are already making products for global markets.
Softmogul is a new startup from Albania, currently working on finalizing their product, a cloud-based software management tool for hotels and other venues that offer accommodation. They’re working on launching in September in San Francisco, US, while the beta testing stage is aimed to be completed during August.
Doctors can manage their practice and business with all the tools that Dentem offers, while patients can see their personal history, discover clinics and make online appointments. Alen Saqe, one of the co-founders of Dentem, told us that they’re working towards completing a launch in Italy and also trying to make a soft-launch in New Zeland, sort of to understand how new technologies get adopted.
Baboon is a food delivery startup that operates in Tirana, Albania and has quickly become the number one choice for those who’re looking to order food online. Users can make a choice from the top restaurants of Tirana on the web and on iOS and Android, while the startup is working hard towards launching its services in other parts of Albania. Baboon offers a complete solution, including the software integrated with restaurants, which means that users can get instant feedback about their current whereabouts of their food.
Pomodoro is another food delivery startup in Albania, but this one is focused especially on Pizzas. While using the service, users can customize their order and specify different ingredients that they want to have on their pizza. They get notifications in real-time about the latest status of their order on either iOS or Android and they can also give feedback after an order has been completed. Besides the option to pay upon delivery, Pomodoro uses M-Pesa from Vodafone as an option for paying inside the app.
Piruni is a startup that, as the name suggests in Albanian – fork, offers food delivery on both The Web and on Android. Piruni offers a variety of choices for paying inside the app: through PayPal, coupons, money transfer, debit or credit card, m-pesa, cash upon delivery, a debit card on POS Terminal upon delivery, etc. The startup, similar to the other two that we have on the list is limited to Tirana only for deliveries.
Shpi.al is one of the oldest, yet coolest, startups in Albania, that operates in the real-estate market. If you’re in the market looking to buy a new home, renting an apartment or looking for land to setup a business, Shpi.al is the number one choice.
Shpi.al offers also a comprehensive database of sales agencies, construction companies and other related real estate information that can be accessed on both web and mobile. The company is constantly developing new technologies that aim to simplify the process of renting or lending real-estate and already operates across Albania. Shpi.al has also been part of ongoing rumors for a buyout, sort of making this the first official start-up exit from Albania. However, there’s not muchÂ we can tell, besides that the most interested party looks is an unnamed VC from Torino, Italy.