The e-commerce platform, which aims to bring African-made products to a global audience, has completed a $6.2 million pre-Series A funding round and rebranded to Anka (a term which means “ours” in the Bambara and Djoula languages).
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.
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.
Anka’s retailer base currently includes sellers from 47 out of 54 African countries, with $35 million in transactions logged in 174 countries worldwide. More than 80 percent of its retail partners are women who have grown their revenue by 50 percent on average since joining the Anka community, the company said.
Originally founded 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. The platform currently records over 700,000 visits a month with the majority of customers located in Europe and North America.
In order to better support its sellers and the rapid scaling of the business, Anka was launched in 2021 as an all-in-one SaaS solution to provide e-commerce services to African micro-retailers.
“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, chief executive 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,” he added.
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