Paris-based Ankorstore, an online B2B marketplace that claims to be reinventing the way new brands can sell to independent shops, announced today that it has raised €250M in a Series C round of funding at a valuation of €1.75B, becoming the latest unicorn in Europe. The company achieved this status just two years after it was founded.
Investors in this round
The round was led by Bond and Tiger Global, in addition to Eurazeo and Coatue. Existing investors Index Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Alven, and Aglae Ventures also participated.
With this investment, Mood Rowghani, general partner at BOND, will be joining Ankorstore’s board of directors.
Rowghani says, “This is next-generation retail. Through a rapidly growing and cross-border network, Ankorstore provides a great infrastructure for thousands of brands and independent stores. And the leadership team’s bold vision is inspiring: to transform retail and unlock new opportunities across the entire value chain.”
According to Ankorstore’s co-founder Nicolas D’Audiffret, the proceeds from this round will help the company to expand both horizontally and vertically, adding new product categories and improving the platform’s technology.
The company recently added the categories ‘sports & wellness’ and ‘pets’ in addition to five core categories as it continues to invest in major technical product updates to improve the customer experience.
Marketplace connecting brands and retailers across Europe
Ankorstore was founded in 2019 by former executives of Etsy (an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies) Nicolas Cohen and Nicolas d’Audiffret, and serial entrepreneurs Mathieu Alengrin and Pierre Louis Lacoste.
The platform connects brands and designers with boutiques all over Europe. It allows on-trend brands to sell through local businesses and retailers to sell products that cannot usually be found on major e-commerce sites or large retail chains.
Ankorstore offers benefits for both retailers and brands. Retailers can discover and select from thousands of brands, benefit from 60-day payment terms, test sales with a low minimum order quantity, and take advantage of the continually evolving tools offered by the platform.
The platform allows brands and creators to sell their products to stores all around Europe, benefitting from direct contact and returns with retailers, and payment upon delivery, solving any cash flow issues.
Currently, Ankorstore has 200,000 retailers and 15,000 brands as customers, and claims to be the fastest-growing B2B marketplace in Europe. The company’s sales volume increased by 950 per cent between 2020 and 2021.
The platform says that 2021 was particularly a strong year of growth. It added 11,000 new brands, as well as the product range, grew to more than one million.
Nicolas Cohen says, “We want to make it easier for independent brands and retailers to work together and improve a lot of outdated aspects of the retail world for them. Thanks to the investment, we can do this better, faster, and in more countries. We are already active in 23 countries in Europe, but we prefer to be physically as close as possible to our brands and retailers. For that reason, we already have offices in Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam, and we aim to open locations in Italy and Spain this year.”