Ivorian ANKA closes marketplace 6 months after a $5 million pre-Series A extension

March 21, 2024
2 min read

The news: 

  • ANKA, an Ivorian Software as a Service (SaaS) eCommerce platform for African businesses, has announced the closure of Afrikrea, an Africa-focused marketplace that sells African-inspired merchandise.
  • CEO and Co-Founder of ANKA, Moulaye Taboure, cited inflation costs and rising payment problems, among other factors, as the reason for the new development. 
  • The company has yet to say if the close of the marketplace means the end of the Ivorian SaaS eCommerce platform or marks a change in the direction to venture into other businesses. 

Taboure announced the news in a video on X, citing the economic downturn, particularly high inflation and persistent payment issues.

In September 2023, the company raised $5 million in equity and debt in a pre-Series A extension round, soon after securing $6.2 million in the pre-Series A round in January 2022.

Since its founding in 2016 by Toboure, Kadry Diallo, and Luc B. Perussault Diallo, the Ivorian SaaS company has raised $13.5 million in total. The investment aimed to drive product development and expand operations into Nigeria, Kenya, and the United States.

He also highlighted some of the remarkable milestones of the company, including amassing 1.5 million followers across its social media platforms. 

With a total of $50 million in transactions across 175 countries, the CEO stated that platform traffic has more than tripled to 1 million monthly visitors, and 50% of sellers on the platform are selling for the first time online and outside of Africa. In the end, however, those upsides were not enough to sustain the platforms.

Before rebranding to ANKA in 2021, the company operated as Afrikrea, a marketplace for African-made and inspired clothing, accessories, arts, and crafts. 

Many African economies, including Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Ghana, are experiencing economic downturns after barely recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

African startups are struggling as foreign investors retreat from the continent.

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43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.

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