- MAKA, an African fashion and beauty social commerce platform, has raised a $2.65 million pre-seed round to grow its workforce, improve its operations, upgrade its technology, and strengthen its ties to Ghana and Nigeria.
- 4DX Ventures and Janngo Capital co-led the round. Palm Drive Capital, angel investor Jonathan Shipman, founder of EVP and Twitch founding member, and executives from delivery platform Wolt also invested.
Founded by Diana Owusu-Kyereko (CEO) — ex-CEO of Jumia Ghana and ex-CCO of Jumia Kenya — in 2021, MAKA is a social commerce platform that enables users to discover products that fit their style through live try-on hauls, reviews, and user-generated content.
During the pandemic, struggling to find all-encompassing fashion inspiration in Ghana prompted her to launch MAKA. She discovered that shopping was a problem that needed to be solved after surveying hundreds of people in Ghana and Nigeria about their preferred shopping locations.
MAKA addresses the problems creators have monetising their influence and trust issues that arise during the transaction process. The platform uses interactive video to foster trust between users and content creators.
Interestingly, the platform provides a review feature that lets users share their thoughts through 30- to 60-second videos that they have created after making a purchase. These reviews impact other users' purchasing decisions by offering insightful information.
The CEO says the feature, which promotes a sense of community and trust within the MAKA platform, has impacted those who create the reviews and purchases. Additionally, the company provides a rewards programme to entice customers to submit these video reviews.
Not only do creators receive points for every video review they post, but they also get points when other people buy products they have recommended. Additionally, creators can earn bonus points by downloading their MAKA reviews and sharing them on other social media sites. They can redeem these points for cash on the platform.
eCommerce penetration has risen as technology adoption has increased, particularly among younger generations. Online shopping has increased from 13% in 2017 to 28% in 2021, encompassing a user base of 334 million. MAKA leverages this to connect with a broader customer base across the continent, concentrating on the fashion sector and creator economy.
Since its launch, the social commerce platform has reportedly garnered more than 500,000 downloads through its initial strategy of interacting with creators through live sessions. Nevertheless, since launching its user-generated content model two months ago, the startup has generated over 2,000 reviews.