Afrikrea Raises $6.2m Pre-Series A Round, Rebrands As ANKA
The Ivory Coast-based e-commerce startup Afrikrea; changes name to “ANKA”.
Afrikrea, the platform for “all things made of Africa’”, said it has raised a US$6.2 million pre-Series A funding round and rebranded as ANKA.
The online marketplace was originally founded in 2016 for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts and crafts, the startup recorded 250 per cent year-on-year growth, but pivoted in 2021 to become an all-in-one SaaS solution providing a seamless e-commerce service for African micro-retailers.
ANKA which means “Ours” in Bambara and Djoula 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 audience.
The US$6.2 million pre-Series A round, which was raised in 2021, was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires and also includes participation from Alibaba’s executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, BESTSELLER Foundation, VestedWorld, 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 date to US$8.1 million.
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.
Moulaye Taboure, CEO and co-founder of ANKA said: “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.”
“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 per cent of the African countries,” Taboure added.
Sebastien Boye, Co-CEO of Investisseurs & Partenaires, said: “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.”