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Brand marketplace Ankorstore raises S$40m from investors
[BERLIN] Ankorstore, a Paris-based online marketplace that connects specialist brands with neighbourhood retailers, said on Tuesday it had raised 25 million euros (S$40.17 million) from investors to fund its European expansion.
The e-commerce startup, founded last year by entrepreneurs including veterans of arts and crafts platform Etsy, wants to make it easier for independent shops to source quality merchandise in small amounts and on affordable terms.
Although some of its retail partners sell online, the majority are bricks and mortar outfits looking to ease the impact of government lockdowns imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, said co-founder Pierre Louis Lacoste.
"Independent stores see Ankorstore as a way to control their cash flow, manage their stock as precisely as possible, and gain access to the best brands," Mr Lacoste told Reuters.
Ankorstore has already attracted 15,000 independent retailers to its platform while 2,000 brands are live. Its sales grew 20 times between February and October.
It offers free shipping on order baskets of 300 euros and allows payment in 60 days, bundling orders for multiple brands and stepping in to settle invoices on behalf of buyers as soon as orders are delivered.
Ankorstore is already available in eight European countries - France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. It plans to expand in 2021, starting with Britain.
The Series A funding round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investors GFC, Alven and Aglae.