According to a McKinsey & Company assessment on general e-commerce operations in Africa, consumer expenditure will exceed $2 trillion over the next three years. Much of this expenditure is on product imports, which are largely determined by customer demand and the placement of major African e-commerce platforms.
Afrikrea, an Ivorian startup that entered Africa’s ecosystem in 2016, is one of the few platforms that facilitate product exports. It has received a $6.2 million pre-Series A financing while renaming to ANKA, the SaaS platform it introduced for sellers in April last year in collaboration with DHL and Visa.
Following the considerable study, the founders discovered that these vendors also used other channels, such as websites or social media. It was only logical to create another platform, ANKA, where merchants can track their sales and inventory across all of these channels.
Moulaye Taboure co-founded Afrikrea with Kadry Diallo and Luc B. Perussault Diallo as a marketplace for African-inspired fashion, clothes, accessories, arts, and crafts. Afrikrea reported last year that it served over 7,000 merchants from 47 African nations and purchasers from 170 countries.
Other features, such as a configurable online shop, payment connections, and access to a variety of payment methods and logistics, increased the platform’s appeal to African merchants. The attraction extended to the firm itself, resulting in a name change despite the marketplace growing at a rate of 250 percent year on year since its inception.
“The main goal behind that is to reflect our much larger purpose and mission now. And also much larger product offering as we are going to serve not only people in fashion but in every industry where anyone wants to export African products”, CEO Taboure told TechCrunch in an interview.
The ANKA website now includes Afrikrea as a feature. Other benefits include a customised online storefront like Shopify that is linked to sellers’ social networking platforms and marketplace channels such as Stripe, Gumroad, or PayPal. The platform also features access delivering items with DHL and receiving payments in several currencies including a buy now, pay later option.
“So wherever you sell, on social media, Afrikrea marketplace, or your website, all of it ends up in one dashboard,” the CEO said, “You can manage all of your orders and one wallet to get paid and withdraw your money easily.”
When retailers fill out their product catalogues or establish payment links, they may utilise ANKA for free. However, once sellers opt to use the programme to take payments or make a transaction, they must pay €10 ($12) per month to access the service. Additionally, merchants pay €10 ($12) in advance for the platform’s shipping or website hosting services.
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