Afrikrea, the e-commerce platform for “all things made of Africa”, has launched ANKA – an all-in-one SaaS solution to provide a seamless ecommerce, payments and global shipping online service for Africa’s micro retailers and businesses.
ANKA (which means “Ours” in Bambara and Djoula) allows merchants to easily sell via a customised online storefront, social media platforms or by links and also on the Afrikrea marketplace via a single inventory. ANKA also offers international shipping via its partners and is able to facilitate both local and global payments.
According to Moulaye Taboure Co-Founder and CEO of Afrikrea, “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.”
Launched to coincide with Afrikrea’s fifth anniversary of operations, ANKA wants to be Africa’s Shopify to allow for African micro-retailers in a bid to help reduce the friction of the global sales process for the 7,000+ sellers on the Afrikrea platform, as well as open new routes to market for sellers.
Afrikrea is working with leading global logistics partner DHL for its delivery service for its vendors which has already shipped over 10 tons of cargo shipped out of Africa. ANKA costs EUR10 [approximately $12] a month and is open to dropshippers from across the world.
The platform will also connect with MPesa, Orange and MTN, PayPal and a host of international payment cards. Merchants will also be able to transfer the funds from their wallets in any method of their choice, including their dedicated physical VISA card. From there, they can instantly pay or withdraw funds at an ATM as and when they prefer.
By building the technical infrastructure for global African culture and allowing its merchants to reach the world using proprietary technology, Afrikrea expects to power and empower tens of thousands more independent businesses inspired by African fashion and artisan items.
Founded in 2016, Afrikrea as a marketplace for selling and buying African-inspired clothing, accessories, arts and crafts has increased its transactions to over $15 million in 170 countries worldwide, with sellers from 47 out of 54 African countries. The platform currently records over 500,000 visits a month with the majority of customers located in Europe and North America.
Euromonitor has estimated the African fashion and apparel market to be worth $31billion in recent years. Afrikrea estimates the yearly spend of its major markets to be worth $12.5 billion. The African diaspora in Europe ($1 billion), those in America and the Caribbean ($9 billion) and non-Africans with links to the continent ($2.5 billion). Afrikrea wants to be at that forefront.
“Our plan is to achieve much the same, but for the growing and dynamic African market. By handling a safe and seamless process for our vendors – sales, payments, shipping – we expect to grow with them and power commerce for thousands more online marketplaces and sellers who have a passion for Africa”, Taboure concluded.