Afrikrea Raises $6.2m Pre-Series A Round, Rebrands as ANKA
ANKA means “ours” in Bambara, a shared language in the region from Mali and Ivory Coast, and across West Africa. It aims to build an infrastructure dedicated to powering e-commerce for its more than 13,000 sellers exporting literally “all things made of Africa” to a global market. Afrikrea remains one of ANKA’s channels.
A Brief History of the Company
Afrikrea was founded in 2016 by Moulaye Tabouré, Kadry Diallo, and Luc B. Perussault-Diallo as an online marketplace for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts and crafts to make African products accessible to a wider market and to promote financial empowerment for African women through fashion, crafts, arts, and culture.
Afrikrea said it recorded 250 percent year-on-year growth, but last year pivoted to become an all-in-one SaaS solution providing a seamless e-commerce service for African micro-retailers.
The platform enables African social commerce, exporters, and drop shippers to save time, energy, and money via its customized seller platform, seamless coordination of global payments, and shipping for thousands of businesses in Africa and around the world. It has already achieved over $35 million in transactions across 174 countries.
The Fundraising, Investors, and Participants
The $6.2 million pre-Series A round, which was raised last year (2021), was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires and also includes participation from Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai, BESTSELLER Foundation, Vested World, Enigmo, Groupe Prunay, and Rising Tide Africa.
They join existing investors, Saviu Ventures (which is also participating in the round), LoftyInc Capital Management, Kepple Africa Ventures, Consonance Investment Managers, id4 Ventures, and Thierry Petit. The additional funding brings the company’s total investment to $8.1 million.
How ANKA Plans to Utilize the Fund
The new capital raised will be deployed to build out the mobile infrastructure of ANKA’s e-commerce SaaS and invest in further product development. The funding will also be used to boost talent acquisition across its product, sales, and finance teams while looking to hire more remote developers.
“We have recorded unprecedented growth since the launch of ANKA last year; since then our subscribers tripled and volume on the newest services has multiplied by eight just over the last six months,” said Moulaye Taboure, CEO and co-founder of ANKA.
“As our vision and clients’ needs had outgrown the singular purpose of the Afrikrea marketplace, operating under ANKA provides a more holistic description of our mission as a pan-African company. Through the ANKA platform, which integrates every aspect of business, we now serve sellers, not just in fashion, but in what will be a variety of sectors in over 80 percent of the African countries.”
The co-CEO of Investisseurs & Partenaires, Sebastien Boye said he was pleased to have led ANKA’s funding round.
“This company is at the heart of IPAE2’s investment strategy: a talented and ambitious African founders’ team, a significant growth and value creation potential, and a compelling impact thesis. Indeed, ANKA aims to give micro-entrepreneurs in Africa all the tools to access the potentialities of the global eCommerce market. The company has the potential to create a full entrepreneurial ecosystem, around its comprehensive platform. We are very impressed with the growth of ANKA since it launched and are confident in their ability to drive digital and financial inclusion for African entrepreneurs,” he said.