Ivorian eCommerce platform ANKA, formerly known as Afrikrea has secured the sum of $6.2 million in its pre-Series A round.
The round was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires as lead angel investors, also includes participation from Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai, Bestseller, bringing the company’s total investment to date to US$8.1 million since founded in 2016.
ANKA disclosed that the development of the pre-Series A round tallies with its rebranding (the change from its former name Afrikrea to ANKA), reinforcing its all-in-one solution for selling anywhere, shipping globally and receiving payments quickly.
According to the company, the new capital raised will be deployed to build out the mobile infrastructure of ANKA’s e-commerce, SaaS, allowing effortless global access for its retailers, as well as investing in further product development, adding that the funding will also be used to boost talent acquisition across its product, sales and finance teams, as it looks to hire more remote developers.
ANKA intends to position itself as an African leader of commerce, it stated that all-inclusive nature of the new name reflects its pan-African reach and expanded scale of operations across the beauty, food, textiles, agricultural and industrial sectors, providing new routes to market and opportunities for thousands of sellers on the continent.
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 8 just over the last 6 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% of the African countries.”
He added, “Instead of trying to get Africans to buy more or spend faster, ANKA will be one the few companies that actually help them earn, own and create, at a global scale. Growth, velocity, volume and “financial inclusion” are all empty words without value creation, distribution and worldwide scale. Most of Africa’s development problems will not be solved by just better efficiencies in moving cash, we need to produce, sell and build for the world to matter.”
Sebastien Boye, Co-CEO of Investisseurs & Partenaires noted that the ANKA has the potential to create a full entrepreneurial ecosystem, around its comprehensive platform adding I & P 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.
He said, “We are delighted to have led ANKA’s funding round. 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.”
ANKA has grown its retail market to include sellers from 47 out of the 54 African countries and completed over $35 million in transactions in 174 countries worldwide.
More than 80% are women who have grown their revenue by 50% on average since joining the ANKA community.
It also added that the online market place which was originally founded for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts and crafts has recorded 250% year-over-year (y-o-y) growth since 2016.