The new funding round was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires, an investment firm dedicated to funding small and medium African enterprises, and 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 will be used to build out the mobile infrastructure of Anka’s e-commerce software as a service (SaaS), allowing easy global access for its retailers, as well as investment in further product development.
“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 per cent of the African countries.”
Originally founded in 2016 as an online marketplace for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts and crafts, Afrikrea has recorded 250 percent year-on-year growth annually since its founding in 2016.
ANKA (meaning “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. Afrikrea remains one of ANKA’s channels.
The platform enables African social commerce, exporters and dropshippers to save time, energy and money via its customised seller platform, seamless coordination of global payments and shipping for thousands of businesses in Africa and around the world. It has already achieved over US$35 million in transactions across 174 countries.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Anka’s retailer base currently includes sellers from 47 out of 54 African countries, with US$35 million in transactions logged in 174 countries worldwide.