As it rebrands to “ANKA,” Afrikrea, the e-commerce site for “all things created in Africa,” has announced the successful completion of a US$6.2 million pre-Series A investment.
Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai, BESTSELLER Foundation, VestedWorld, Enigmo, Groupe Prunay, and Rising Tide Africa all participated in the funding round, which was led by Investisseurs & Partenaires.
The extra funding takes the company’s total investment since its inception in 2016 to US$8.1 million.
Afrikrea, which began as an online marketplace for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts, and crafts, has grown by 250 percent year over year since its inception in 2016.
ANKA, the first-of-its-kind all-in-one SaaS solution to provide a seamless e-commerce service for African micro-retailers, was introduced in 2021 to better assist its sellers and the quick growth of the business. ANKA (which means “Ours” in Bambara and Djoula) aspires to create an infrastructure dedicated to enabling e-commerce for its 13,000+ vendors who export “all things manufactured in Africa” to a global audience.
ANKA’s retailer base has grown to include vendors from 47 of Africa’s 54 countries, and the company has executed over $35 million in transactions in 174 countries around the world.
“We have seen exceptional growth since the debut of ANKA last year; since then, our subscribers have tripled, and volume on the newest services has doubled by eight just over the last six months,” Moulaye Taboure, CEO and Co-Founder of ANKA, said of the funding and branding. Operating under ANKA provides a more holistic definition of our aim as a pan-African organization, as our vision and clients’ demands have outgrown the exclusive purpose of the Afrikrea marketplace. We now service merchants in more than 80% of African countries using the ANKA platform, which unifies all aspects of the business.”
The fresh funds will be used to expand the mobile infrastructure of ANKA’s e-commerce SaaS, allowing its sellers to shop from anywhere in the world, as well as invest in new product development.
Additionally, the funding will be utilized to accelerate talent acquisition across the company’s product, sales, and finance teams, with an emphasis on remote developers.