Ankorstore, a curated marketplace connecting independent brands with local retailers, has raised USD100 million in Series B funding led by Tiger Global and Bain Capital Ventures.
Propelled by strong growth, and just months after its successful Series A fundraise, this round welcomes new investors alongside participation from existing investors Index Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Alven, and Aglaé. The company plans to use the funds to grow its base of 5,000 brands and 50,000 independent retailers across Europe, and support them through reopening.
Founded in 2019 by former Etsy executives and serial entrepreneurs, Nicolas Cohen, Nicolas D’Audiffret, Mathieu Alengrin and Pierre-Louis Lacoste, Ankorstore is reinventing the independent retail industry. Ankorstore acts as an ambassador for many of the most sought after European brands, as well as a partner to shop owners who strive to provide their customers with new experiences and products. Rather than navigating the tedious tasks of discovering products, identifying the right contact, and negotiating with distributors or agents, the Ankorstore platform allows a shop owner to find and stock a variety of brands with minimal cost and risk.
Ankorstore promises to level the playing field in the face of the dominance of mass retail and an e-commerce system that rewards big brands and big retail. Offering the kind of functionality associated with the best consumer e-commerce platforms, Ankorstore addresses long standing frustrations, as well as Covid-related challenges.
“In the current retail climate, there have been many measures to close non-essential shops, which have left independent stores in need of flexible financing and tools to quickly adapt their offering. Ankorstore stood by our retailers through lockdowns to help them closely control their cash flow, be more responsive, and manage their stock as precisely as possible,” says Nicolas D’Audiffret, co-founder of Ankorstore.
“Ankorstore has quickly become the clear solution in Europe for local retailers to source from independent brands,” says John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global. “The incredible adoption over the last eighteen months speaks to an experienced team providing real and timely value to its customers. We’re proud to support Ankorstore on their journey to becoming a worldwide leader, building the future of independent retail.”
Despite half of Ankorstore’s retailers being closed due to covid, the business has tripled in the first four months of 2021. While plans for reopening of retail are outlined across Europe, Ankorstore will play a crucial role for business owners, enabling them to restock shelves in anticipation of a busy season ahead. Sales on the platform tripled for the United Kingdom in the weeks following the government’s announcement of the reopening plan.
A timely solution independent retailers will benefit from:
• Access to 5,000+ curated brands, with unique and high-quality products from across Europe.
• 60-day payment terms, making reopening easier with additional advantageous financing options.
• Minimized risk for new retailers with a minimum first order of just EUR100 per brand, not thousands.
• Simplify ordering and administration with one order for multiple brands.
“The Covid crisis demonstrated how resilient our model is. Despite the closure of most shops in Europe, we have continued to grow massively over the last six months. We are going to invest deeply in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden to better serve our clients. Brands and independent retailers understand our mission, which is to help them to propose an alternative to the massification and standardisation imposed by the e-commerce giants. We are so proud to serve such a mission,” says Nicolas Cohen, co-founder of Ankorstore.
This round of capital will enable Ankorstore to enhance its wholesale platform with important offerings for over 5,000 brands and 50,000 retailers. Additionally, Ankorstore intends to significantly grow its world-class team, opening local offices across Europe including Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Stockholm. With this round of funding, Merritt Hummer, partner at Bain Capital Ventures, will join Ankorstore’s board of directors.
“Bringing the wholesale market for independent brands and retailers online is an enormous global opportunity, and Ankorstore has very rapidly emerged as the winner across Europe,” says Merritt Hummer, partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “At BCV we have invested in a number of B2B marketplaces, and we are extremely proud to partner with this exceptional team as they scale an international platform that transforms wholesale trade.”