The International Finance Corporation (IFC) board of directors has sanctioned a loan of USD 1.7 million (around 1.027 billion XOF) to the Ivorian startup Anka (previously known as Afrikrea), a reduction from the originally intended $3.4 million. This detail was sourced from the institution’s website.
The IFC didn’t specify the rationale behind the decreased funding amount. However, they noted that the loan was approved under the mixed financing mechanism of the IDA-20 private sector window. This initiative, introduced by the World Bank, focuses on five key sectors: economic transformation, agriculture and food security, human resources, digital and tech innovations, and the shift to cleaner energy.
Established in 2016 in Abidjan, ANKA operates an online marketplace showcasing African fashion items from different African designers, including clothes, accessories, and handcrafted goods. IFC reports that most sellers on this platform are small enterprises located in Africa, while the customer base spans the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, to name a few. The funding from the institution will support ANKA’s growth in Côte d’Ivoire and other IDA-qualified nations.
Anka has secured its second round of funding within a year. Last October 2022, the startup raised €5.4 million (3.6 billion XOF) during a pre-Series A round. Alongside the monetary support, Anka is set to receive advisory assistance and capability enhancement from the IFC, especially in corporate governance areas.
In addition to the financial backing, there’s potential for deeper collaboration between the IFC Advisory and Anka, specifically regarding corporate governance advisory services. The IFC mentioned, “Beyond this specific initiative, the investment could bolster the integration of Francophone Africa’s creative sectors into the global market. The successful expansion could amplify the visibility of creative goods from target nations in global arenas, leading to a rise in creative exports.”