Ivorien e-commerce startup, Afrikrea, has announced that it is launching ANKA, which is an all-in-one SaaS solution.
ANKA, a platform created in partnership with DHL and VISA, will allow users to sell from Africa, ship products to anywhere in the world and get paid through local and international African payment methods.
Users on the ANKA platform would be able to sell through an omnichannel dashboard with a single inventory, orders and messages management.
Customers can carry out transactions via a customized online storefront like Shopify, social media platforms, links such as on Gumroad and the Afrikrea marketplace.
Afrikrea, which was founded in 2016, started as a marketplace for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts, and crafts.
The company has grown within five years, and has served more than 7,000 sellers from 47 African countries and buyers from 170 countries.
According to Nairametrics, Afrikrea has recorded a transaction increase to over $15 million. The platform currently records over 500,000 visits a month with the majority of customers located in Europe and North America.
Speaking on the motivation for ANKA, Moulaye Taboure, Co-founder and CEO, said that the company noticed that merchants were splitting time and concentration across different channels, which affected their engagement with Afrikrea.
“We noticed that it was getting harder for our sellers to make sales because they were losing time, money and energy switching between channels. Every time they want to sell a product, they put it on social media, Afrikrea, and other websites. And when one buyer shows interest, there is no single place to track and see all the orders. That’s hard for these businesses to offer quality services and grow effectively.”
Moulaye Taboure further added that:
“We see Afrikrea as the bridge between Africa and the world, empowering thousands of micro retailers and their clients globally. Those entrepreneurs currently lose time and energy managing multiple channels of sales, and also lose money through the multiple intermediaries needed to ship their orders or get access to their funds. ANKA enables them to sell anywhere as well as get paid – seamlessly, from one place.”
Unlike other e-commerce platforms, ANKA differentiates itself as a platform for export rather than import, specifically for African products.
According to Taboure, ANKA is currently the largest e-commerce exporter on the continent, and since its partnership with DHL, it has shipped more than 10 tons of cargo monthly from Africa.
“We are the biggest client of DHL exporting from Africa. We ship 10 tons every month and have sellers in 47 African countries, with Kenya and Nigeria as our largest markets. We have something African that is going to a global scale. That’s one of the angles we had with Afrikrea, and we want to keep that with ANKA. What sets us apart is that we’re not just trying to solve a purely African problem; we want to solve a global problem for Africans,” Taboure added.