The Ivory Coast-based e-commerce platform offers a one-stop online platform for African artists, including those making and selling clothing, jewellery, and accessories, helping them connect with new markets by facilitating sales, shipping, and payment processing.
ANKA has raised US$5 million in extension funding to support the growth of thousands of small and women-led artisanal businesses, strengthening Africa’s creative industries and its growing online retail sector.
The platform is used by more than 22,000 sellers, primarily in Africa and several in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The sellers’ products can be purchased on the online marketplace Afrikrea, powered by ANKA.
According to reports, the startup raised a US$6.2 million pre-Series A round last year and has now raised an extension round led by a US$3.4 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It also features participation from Proparco and the French Public Investment Bank.
The US$3.4 million equity investment from IFC, which marks IFC’s first investment into Africa’s creative sector, will allow it to scale its operations and onboard about 100,000 additional artisans from across Africa by 2030.
Moulaye Tabouré, ANKA CEO, said: “We are excited to partner with IFC, particularly at this stage of our growth story. Having recorded important growth since 2021, we are now in line for the next stage of our journey. This investment will support our expansion drive as we continue to connect Africa’s creative entrepreneurs to a global market.”
Makhtar Diop, IFC managing director, said: “Empowering African artisans, particularly women, and helping them access wider markets is crucial to raise the bar of economic inclusion and spur sustainable growth. ANKA’s strategy of connecting artisanal fashion designers and merchants to global markets aligns with our vision of supporting Africa’s creative industry to unlock new opportunities for inclusive growth.”
In addition to financing, IFC will help ANKA deliver financial literacy and other training for women retailers on the platform to strengthen their businesses. IFC also will provide advisory support directly to ANKA to help the company improve its corporate governance framework.