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Swiss EP

Udhë—redefining car-sharing

Kosovo-based startup Udhë aims to introduce car-sharing to the regional market. The team is developing and shaping their idea on different programs supported by Swiss EP in Kosovo and Albania.

Udhë is a startup on a mission to change the world and make it a better place with fewer cars and more sharing. They are based in Kosovo, but they don’t plan to stay there for long: they are already exploring opportunities in Albania, as well.

We first met Udhë during the VentureUp incubation program in spring 2020. They were an ambitious and hard-working team, determined to succeed. With the idea to turn car sharing into a business venture, they looked for different ways to validate the concept. One of the notions they had starting out was the importance of idea validation. They set out to gather a community of people interested in carpooling. That community counts over 15,000 people today.

Reflecting on the VentureUp incubation program, Udhë co-founder Eroll Gorçi says:

The key lesson we learned during the VentureUp program was that it’s essential to create healthy relationships with potential investors, partners, and everyone you meet.

Eroll Gorçi, co-founder of Udhë

Following that teaching, the team has established a strong relationship with Kushtrim Xhakli, a successful Kosovo entrepreneur in Finland and long-term Swiss EP diaspora expert. They first met during the VentureUp program and continue to work together. Kushtrim believes Udhë is on to something.

The startup Udhë is coming to the market at the right time—not because petrol prices and travel costs are rising—but because the convenience people get by car-sharing and on-demand transport has become a necessity. The world is moving in this direction of people owning fewer personal cars and, instead, using shared ones to get from point A to point B. Udhë founders have identified this.

Kushtrim Xhakli, entrepreneur and Swiss EP diaspora expert

The second time we spotted Udhë on our radar was in another startup program we supported, this time in Albania. They were one of twelve startups accepted into the Uplift acceleration program in Tirana.

We are planning to expand our user base across Albania. That’s why we thought that Uplift would be a good opportunity for us.

Eroll Gorçi, co-founder of Udhë

Eroll and the team made a logical step forward: they joined another program where they continued learning and exploring different business models. The team has been working with various mentors and experts. Besides Kushtrim, they also appreciate the insights and advice they got from Barbara Fischer, one of the most active Swiss EP experts in the Western Balkans.

We worked with many excellent experts, but Barbara Fischer is our favorite. She was very open in offering us help at any time. Working with her, we identified the main points that we need to improve to move forward!

Eroll Gorçi, co-founder of Udhë

During the Uplift program, the team has made another big step onward. They have launched an application where drivers and passengers can match and carpool, sharing a car. For the moment, the application is only available for users in Kosovo with plans to expand the market after some initial traction and hopefully some investments. On top of that, Udhë won third place on the Uplift Demo Day and a prize money that will help them move forward.

Udhë is one of the most attractive and diligent early-stage startups we encountered in Kosovo. They’re dedicated to their work, ambitious, and hard-working. We’re looking forward to seeing them changing the way we travel and use our cars, not only in Kosovo but also in the region—and even the world.