In 2016, the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimated that the continent's fashion industry could be worth $15.5bn over the next five years leading to 2021. The estimation was supported by the growing interest in African fashion, art and music across the globe.
Some of the reasons for the sudden growth in interest in the continent's fashion include; the internet and social media which have given great exposure to African culture. Additionally, music genres like Afrobeats and other celebrities from across the world have embraced the continent's fashion which they have incorporated in their lifestyles.
Yet, despite the surge in the interest, there's no central marketplace where one can buy or sell African fashion.
Afrikrea.com, a fashion startup based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (initially in Paris) has set out to bridge the gap providing a platform that one can use to discover, buy and sell Made Of Africa fashion, art and crafts from all over the world.
Today, the startup has announced raising a €500,000 (~ $565,000) Seed Round that it believes will help them consolidate their position in the market as well as fuel further growth. The investment round was led by Mauritius-based pre-seed and seed investor, Saviu Ventures - a micro-VC that writes tickets ranging from $100k to $800k.
Saviu Ventures joined the initial renowned investors like the Thierry Petit and David Dayan of Showroomprive.com (France 2nd largest fashion and beauty ecommerce) or Hervé Cuvilliez of Id4 Ventures, among others. According to Arthur Thuet, a co-founder at Saviu Ventures, the deal closed on January 10, 2019.
Founded in 2016, by three African co-founders, Kadry, Luc and Moulaye, the online fashion marketplace "grew x 32 to process almost €3 millions of transactions in 78 countries up to date" per the press release shared with Digest Africa.
Similar to Etsy, Afrikrea.com not only offers free shops with advanced products and transactions
management tools but provides the sellers with insights and support on how to grow their business worldwide. The marketplace also enables convivial and efficient exchanges with the visitors or buyers, before, during and after an order through its messaging system, which records over 20k messages every month!
The funding will mainly be used to "reach profitability and support further the designers", especially those in Africa. The startup also recently launched partnerships with DHL in Ivory Coast and Nigeria to mutualize the shipments and services so that sellers in the community get rates up to 75% cheaper than they would alone.