ANKA, the “all-in-one SaaS for global African businesses'', has announced the closure of a US$5M pre-Series A extension round by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with participation from Proparco and the French Public Investment Bank. The new round of funding brings the company’s total investment to date to US$13.5M since being founded in 2016 as ANKA fuels its efforts in product building as well as expanding its services to encourage and further develop African entrepreneurship on a global scale. The company is set to strengthen its presence in key countries where it has already recorded unparalleled growth; including Nigeria and Kenya for the number of sellers, and the US for its buyers and subscribers. Furthermore, ANKA also plans to use the investment to actively recruit sales, technical, and product talent to catalyse its growth.
Since its last injection of capital in 2022, ANKA has almost doubled its margins and its community of African SMEs in 47 out of 54 countries on the continent. The company processed over US$50M in transactions in over 175 countries around the world. Since its first round of fundraising in 2022, ANKA’s turnover has increased over 18 times from €200k to €3.6M. The platform now aims to onboard 100,000 African sellers by 2030, championing the cross-border trade of “all things made of Africa” to a global audience. These achievements underline ANKA's influential presence in the African e-commerce ecosystem. As well as its ambition to reach the same level as ‘Paypal’ for all the entrepreneurs on the continent.
ANKA provides a subscription model platform for African entrepreneurs to:
- Sell goods via a customised storefront, Instagram or WhatsApp
- Be paid for goods and services via international payment methods and withdraw money instantly via local payment methods (e.g. mobile money or bank transfer) or ANKA’s dedicated VISA cards
- Access to an aggregation of the best shipping solutions to ship goods, such as with DHL service for less than $20 up to 2kg in under 72 hours.
Speaking about the fundraise, ANKA Co-Founder and CEO Moulaye Taboure said, “We are beyond thrilled to see our vision for our sellers and clients coming to fruition at an unprecedented scale. This new round of investment from our partners is crucial in pushing forward the creativity and innovation that we know is being spearheaded by the continent and that is speaking louder than ever on the global stage. The IFC in particular has had a long-term conviction in our leadership of these industries, and we’re delighted that they, as well as our other investors, could be a part of extending our mission of “Unleashing the growth of African entrepreneurship”.
COO and Co-Founder of ANKA Abdoul Kadry Diallo added, “We have always believed in the untapped cultural wealth of the continent. Our continent has amazing people, products and services that can contribute significantly to the global economy. This additional round of funding will allow us to continue improving our operational efficiencies, supporting us to achieve the next level of profitable growth, not only for us but for our sellers”.
Globally, the world has a vast distribution of African diaspora, with close to 45 million people of African descent living in North America, and 10 million living in Europe. Both regions are already home to ANKA’s biggest exports and represent a significant growth opportunity for the company as it pursues its goal to boost the investment in and sale of Africa’s creative economy, globally.
Makhtar Diop, IFC Managing Director said: “Empowering African artisans, particularly women, and helping them access wider markets is crucial to raise the bar of economic inclusion and spur sustainable growth. ANKA’s strategy of connecting artisanal fashion designers and merchants to global markets aligns with our vision of supporting Africa’s creative industry to unlock new opportunities for inclusive growth.”
Fabrice Perez, Head of Proparco VC division shared: "We are delighted to see the growing impact of ANKA on the development of SMEs in Africa, as well as on employment for women, who account for 80% of the 20,000 merchants using the platform. This equity investment reaffirms Proparco's support for ANKA, initiated in 2021 through Bridge by Digital Africa in the form of a 300,000 euro bridging loan (fully repaid now). As a new shareholder, Proparco will participate in ANKA's growth and help it to support merchants in improving the quality of their products, their customer service and, more generally, their fundamental needs to develop the market for "Made in Africa" products.”