Economic Challenges Prompt Closure

ANKA, the Ivorian Software as a Service (SaaS) eCommerce platform, has announced the closure of its Africa-focused marketplace, Afrikrea. Moulaye Taboure, CEO and Co-Founder of ANKA, attributed the decision to factors such as inflation costs and increasing payment issues.

The closure of Afrikrea raises questions about the future direction of ANKA. Taboure's announcement hinted at the possibility of either pivoting the business to other ventures or discontinuing the Ivorian SaaS eCommerce platform altogether.

Funding History

ANKA's journey has been marked by significant fundraising efforts. In September 2023, the company secured $5 million in equity and debt through a pre-Series A extension round, following a $6.2 million pre-Series A round in January 2022. Since its inception in 2016 by Toboure, Kadry Diallo, and Luc B. Perussault Diallo, ANKA has raised a total of $13.5 million.

Expansion and Achievements

The investments were intended to fuel product development and operational expansion into Nigeria, Kenya, and the United States. Despite encountering challenges, ANKA achieved notable milestones, including amassing 1.5 million followers on social media and facilitating $50 million in transactions across 175 countries. The platform witnessed a significant increase in traffic, with monthly visitors surpassing one million. Additionally, half of the sellers on the platform ventured into online selling for the first time.

Rebranding and Business Model

Formerly known as Afrikrea, the company rebranded to ANKA in 2021. Afrikrea initially operated as a marketplace for African-made and inspired clothing, accessories, arts, and crafts. However, despite its efforts to adapt and expand, economic headwinds proved challenging.

Economic Context

ANKA's closure comes amid economic downturns in several African countries, exacerbated by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The withdrawal of foreign investors from the continent has further strained the startup ecosystem, affecting businesses like ANKA. While ANKA's journey with Afrikrea ends, the closure marks a pivotal moment for the Ivorian SaaS company. As it navigates through economic challenges and explores new opportunities, ANKA remains a symbol of resilience and innovation within Africa's startup landscape.