E-commerce platform Afrikrea launches an on-demand software solution for micro-retailers

CÔTE D’IVOIREE-commerce platform Afrikrea has announced the launch of Anka, an on-demand software solution that will provide e-commerce, payments and global shipping services for thousands of micro-retailers.

Launched in partnership with DHL and VISA will empower micro retailers and businesses on the continent and around the world, as it continues to power e-commerce for Africa.

The launch of Anka (which means “ours” in Bambara and Djoula) coincides with the fifth anniversary of Côte D’Ivoire-based Afrikrea.

The platform, a marketplace with more than 7,000 vendors selling African-inspired fashion, accessories, arts and crafts, facilitates US$15 million in annual transactions to 170 countries worldwide, with sellers from 47 out of 54 African countries.

“We see Afrikrea as the bridge between Africa and the world, empowering thousands of micro retailers and their clients globally,” Moulaye Taboure Co-Founder and CEO of Afrikrea says.

“By handling a safe and seamless process for our vendors – sales, payments, shipping – we expect to grow with them and power commerce for thousands more.”

Moulaye Taboure – Co-Founder and CEO, Afrikrea

“Those entrepreneurs currently lose time and energy managing multiple channels of sales, and also lose money through the multiple intermediaries needed to ship their orders or get access to their funds. ANKA enables them to sell anywhere as well as get paid – seamlessly, from one place.”

According to Afrikrea, Anka is the first e-commerce aggregator of services for African micro-retailers and has been developed to reduce the difficulties they face in reaching a global audience by allowing vendors to sell via customised online storefronts, social media platforms or Afrikrea’s marketplace, as well as providing competitive international shipping rates and facilitating payments via a secure online wallet.

“In much the same way that international technology companies like Shopify and Alibaba have been central to inspiring and powering a new wave of global online retailers, and have created wealth for thousands of entrepreneurs via access to amazing eCommerce software, our plan is to achieve much the same, but for the growing and dynamic African market,” Moulaye added.

“By handling a safe and seamless process for our vendors – sales, payments, shipping – we expect to grow with them and power commerce for thousands more online marketplaces and sellers who have a passion for Africa.”

ANKA costs EUR10 [approximately US$12] a month and the platform will also connect with MPesa, Orange, and MTN, so customers looking to pay merchants can do so via mobile money, mobile banking, PayPal, and a host of international payment cards.

Merchants will also be able to transfer the funds from their wallets in any method of their choice, including their dedicated physical VISA card. From there, they can instantly pay or withdraw funds at an ATM as and when they prefer.

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