Home » Malian entrepreneur Moulaye Taboure’s Afrikrea secures $6.2 million in funding round led by Jack Ma-linked firm

Malian entrepreneur Moulaye Taboure’s Afrikrea secures $6.2 million in funding round led by Jack Ma-linked firm

by Omokolade Ajayi

Cote d’Ivoire-based e-commerce fashion startup, Afrikrea, has secured $6.2 million in its latest funding round led by a group of institutional investors, which includes an entity linked to Chinese billionaire and Alibaba Founder Jack Ma.

Afrikrea is an e-commerce startup co-founded by Moulaye Taboure, Kadry Diallo and Luc B. Perussault Diallo in 2016 as a marketplace for Africa-based and -inspired fashion, clothing, accessories, arts and crafts.

Since 2016, the platform has evolved into an all-in-one marketplace providing a seamless e-commerce service for African micro-retailers. It has processed more than $35 million in transactions across 174 countries.

The $6.2-million pre-Series-A funding round was led by the Ma-linked entity and Investisseurs & Partenaires, a French VC firm focused on Africa. This brings its total investment to date to $8.1 million.

The funding round was accompanied by a rebranding effort that saw Afrikrea launch ANKA, where merchants with an omnichannel dashboard can monitor sales and inventory.

The move will see the e-commerce startup consolidate its position and dominance on the African market, as it prepares to expand its operations through product innovation and expansion into other market segments.

The proceeds from the capital raise will be deployed to build out the mobile infrastructure of ANKA’s e-commerce SaaS and invest in further product development. 

The startup noted that part of the funding will be used to develop its talent acquisition across its product, sales and finance teams, as it moves to deepen its remote team of 14 nationalities on five continents: Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe.

While commenting on Afrikrea’s performance, Moulaye Taboure, CEO and co-founder, said: “We have recorded unprecedented growth since the launch of ANKA last year; since then our subscribers tripled and volume on the newest services has multiplied by eight just over the last six months.”

The just-concluded funding round represents an endorsement for Ivorian startups and a growing trend among startups in Francophone Africa.

Nearly two weeks ago, La Finance pour ELLE (Fin’Elle), a subsidiary of Compagnie Financiere Africaine (COFINA) Group, a financial services group founded by Ivorian multimillionaire Jean-Luc Konan, secured a €5-million ($5.6 million) loan from the Dutch development bank, FMO.

Another Ivorian startup, CinetPay, secured $2.4 million in a seed round led by Nigerian fintech unicorn Flutterwave and pan-African venture capital fund, 4DX Ventures in December 2021.

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