Former Ivorian e-commerce startup ANKA, formerly Afrikrea, raises $ 6.2M pre-Series A - TechCrunch

Former Ivorian e commerce startup ANKA formerly Afrikrea raises 62M

Study by McKinsey & Company on common e-commerce activity in Africa says consumer spending will reach more than $ 2 trillion in the next three years. Much of this expenditure is covered by the introduction of results, in particular influenced by consumer demand and the location of major e-commerce platforms in Africa.

Afrikrea, an Ivorian startup company founded in 2022, is one of the few platforms that enables product export. he is has raised $ 6.2 million pre-Series A tour while rebranding to ANKA, the SaaS platform it launched for retailers in partnership with DHL and Visa in April last year.

Moulaye Tabore launched Afrikrea with Debate Kadry and Luc B. Perussault Diallo as a marketplace for African-based fashion, clothing, decoration, arts and crafts. Last year, Afrikrea said it was serving more than 7,000 retailers from 47 African countries and customers from 170 countries..

After some research, the founders noticed that these vendors were also involved in other channels, such as websites or social media. For them, it made sense to build another platform - ANKA - where buyers can, with omnichannel dashboard inspector sales and inventory across all of these channels: Africa, social media and websites.

Other features such as a custom online storefront, payment links, and access to various payment methods and logistics added to the platform’s attractiveness to Afrikrea merchants. The application expanded to the company itself, resulting in a name change despite the market recording 250% year-on-year growth since its launch.

“The main aim behind that is to reflect our purpose and mission much more now. And also a much bigger product offering as we are going to serve not only people in fashion but in every business where one wants to export African products, ”said Chief Tabore to TechCrunch in an interview.

Afrikrea is now one of the features on the ANKA website. Others include a custom online store front (like Shopify), which is tied to vendor social media platforms and market channels (such as Stripe, Gumroad or PayPal); access to shipping goods by DHL; and receiving payments in various currencies (including buy now, pay later option).

“So wherever you sell, on social media, the Afrikrea marketplace, or your website, all of it will end in one dashboard, ”said the Chief Executive. “You can control it all of your orders and one wallet for payment and withdraw your money easy. ”

ANKA is free to use when retailers fill out their product catalogs or when generating paid links. However, once sellers decide to start using the software to accept payments or make sales, they will pay €10 (~ $ 12) to access the service per month. Vendors also pay €10 (~ $ 12) in advance for shipping services or platform website hosting.

Tabore told TechCrunch that about 40% of the more than 13,000 registrars do not use the market. For them, ANKA generates paid links for use on other channels or executes orders from other channels. He said the company is building a mobile application to make the process smoother.

Following the capture of Afrikrea's commercial center, ANKA has dealers from 47 of Africa's 54 countries. ANKA also noted that more than 80% of its salespeople are women, whose income has increased by an average of 50% since joining the ANKA community.

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The platform will also record over 700,000 hits from its customers who have made over $ 35 million on the platform. In a statement, ANKA said that these buyers come from 174 countries, mostly established in Europe and North America. According to Tabore, the customers are mostly from France and the USA; they make up 90% of ANKA's sales.

In the last decade, e-commerce is growing in Africa subdued by companies such as Jumia, Takealot and Mall4Africa. In 2015, MallforAfrica struck a partnership with DHL and Launch of DHL Africa eShop with the logistics giant four years later.

But recent tensions from a downward spiral to investor withdrawals have forced the start-up business to take a long time (although it says it is reorganizing), raising questions new findings on the viability of some e-commerce models in Africa. But Tabore believes that his company is protected from such events because it serves the market the other way around.

“Most of the e-commerce that has been tried so far is Africans trying to buy out. And yes, when you do that, you have money and logistics issues that are completely different. We are against. We are trying to get Africans to work in foreign currencies. So if I were, in fact, it's almost as if we were working in two different worlds, "he said.

"We are probably one of the few startups that tries not to just forcing Africans to spend their money or buy more. We really want to help them make money globally and create value on the global stage. AppropriatelyIn this way, we contribute to strengthening our economies in much more than one way. ”

In an interview conducted by TechCrunch with the CEO last year, he visited ANKA as the continent 's largest e - commerce export business, claiming to ship more than 10 tonnes of cargo per year. months from Africa. These kinds of numbers are watering the mouths of investors - in the case of ANKA, the heavy weights of e-commerce like Joseph Tsai.

Alibaba action agency and a billionaire took part in the adjacent tour BESTSELLER Foundation, holds the chairmanship of one of the largest shareholders in ASOS and Zalando.

French VC and influence company with a focus on Africa Investors & Partners (I&P) lead the tour. In a statement, Co-CEO Sebastien Boye said I&P invested in ANKA because the company is at the heart of its company strategy: talented and ambitious founders, big growth, value creation and a dissertation with a strong impact.

Other investors include VstedWorld, Enigmo, Groupe Prunay, Rising Tide Africa and SAVIU Ventures, the lead investor in ANKA's seed cycle. Overall, the company, which owns LoftyInc Capital and other local investors, is back, has raised $ 8.1 million.

“We are delighted to have some VCs in total, but also entrepreneurs who have done what we have already done. That is something we are very proud of and very willing to take on the tour we are aiming for. the best people at the table to help us grow. ”

The company said the pre-Series A tour will help them build its SaaS mobile infrastructure and further develop products. ANCA also intend to recruit talent across technology, finance, sales and marketing to join their 30-person team across four continents.

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