Ankorstore, an online marketplace that connects independent brands with local retailers, is on a mission to compete with the likes of Amazon. And now, after two years of launch and operations, the company has finally reached unicorn status.
Second French unicorn in 2022
The online B2B platform that connects 200,000 retailers and 15,000 brands with the best shops in Europe on a site 100% dedicated to professionals has now raised €250 million ($283 million) in Series C funding. The round was led by BOND and Tiger Global alongside participation from Eurazeo and Coatue and existing investors, including Index Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, GFC, Alven and Aglae.
With this, the total funding raised by the company is now €365 million. Also, Ankorstore has attained unicorn status with a valuation of $2 billion. Notably, this is the second French company to enter the unicorn club in 2022, following HR tech PayFit, which bagged a $289 million investment last week.
Founded in 2019 by Mathieu Alengrin, Nicolas Cohen, Nicolas d’Audiffret and Pierre Louis Lacoste, the following funding will allow Ankorstore to expand geographically and accelerate activities in the European core markets, beginning with Italy and Spain, and ramp-up activities in its 23 existing markets. Currently, it has offices in Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm.
Talking about the competition, there aren’t a lot of players in the space, except for Faire, a US-based company that recently commenced its European expansion. Also, Creoate and Orderchamp run their wholesale marketplaces in Europe.
Given that Ankorstore has achieved a significant feat quickly, some facts about how they conquered the road to success.
#1 Free delivery in Europe
Ankorstore’s online marketplace lets up-and-coming brands sell directly to independent shops. It allows them to offer varied stock and be more agile with their chosen products. Its brands cover a more comprehensive range of sectors, including children’s products, homeware, fashion, beauty and more.
Ankorstore offers free shipping on a minimum order value of €300. This makes sense as they do not make losses on small value orders.
#2 Multi-brand orders
Ankorstore simplifes the ordering process as it lets placing a single grouped order with several brands. With this feature, it is not a necessity to place multiple orders to buy products from various brands, which reduces the hassle and eradicates shipment fees wherever applicable.
#3 Ample payment window for resellers
Ankorstore offers 60-day payment terms for resellers. This facilitates the renewal of stocks when stores reopen at favourable conditions. As retailers can pay up to 60 days after ordering something without any hidden changes, they can focus on curation while the startup takes care of procurement.
Also, there is minimised risk for retailers with a minimum first order of €100 per brand, unlike the minimum value.
#4 Wide selection of products
Ankorstore has a wide selection of products ranging from household supplies to maple syrup, headbands, and stationery items. Especially, some verticals such as non-perishable groceries, beauty products, and household items have been working well for the company. These have helped Ankorstore grow up its trajectory.
There is a filter for locating brands and places of production, which allows retailers to offer a selection of products ideal for their customers. Also, this helps list only authentic brands. Ankorstore expects to expand to new categories including perishable food in the future.
#5 Charges a minimum cut
To list their items on the marketplace of Ankorstore, brands have to pay a commission of 10% on each transaction. This will be followed by a higher 20% cut on the first order through Ankorstore.
Talking about the investment, Nicolas Cohen, Co-CEO and Co-Founder said, “Our mission is to create a global wholesale business to swing the balance in favour of independents.” He continued: “We want to make things easy and simple for brands and independent retailers to do business together, being a part of their daily lives and changing the outdated habits of how retail works today – for the better.”
Nicolas D’Audiffret, Co-CEO and Co-founder added, “We plan to scale both horizontally and vertically by adding new product categories and features. We recently added two new categories “sports & wellbeing” and “pets” to our five core product categories and will continue to invest in major product and tech developments to improve the customer experience for our community.”