A European B2B marketplace is plotting further UK growth after reaching unicorn status in just two years.
Paris-headquartered Ankorstore has raised €250 million funding and already counts 3,000 UK brands and 26,000 UK retailers among clients of its wholesale marketplace.
In all, it is working with 200,000 retailers and 15,000 brands across 23 countries in Europe.
“Our UK business will continue to be a key market for growth and investment,” Jina Kwon, UK country manager, tells BusinessCloud.
“More than 15,000 brands and retailers engage in cross-border transactions between the UK and Europe [on our platform].
“Our central London office just off Oxford Circus currently employs over 70 people. Due to our rapid growth, the team is always expanding and we’re constantly investing in top talent as part of our wider goal to recruit 1,000 new employees across Europe by the end of this year.”
Ankorstore says it is constantly creating new opportunities for brands and retailers to reach their customers quickly and has been instrumental towards the reopening of physical stores during the pandemic.
“We want to be the solution used by UK independent retailers and brands to develop themselves and thrive in the communities that they serve,” adds Kwon.
“We will also continue to invest in the latest product and tech innovations to improve customer experience. We’re growing fast and talent in the UK is an integral part of this – while staying true to our unique company culture.”
The Series C funding round was led by BOND and Tiger Global with the participation of Eurazeo and Coatue as well as all existing investors: Index Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, GFC, Alven and Aglae. It values the company at €1.75 billion.
Ankorstore’s sales volume increased by 950% between 2020 and 2021. With more than 11,000 brands registered in 2021, today, there are more than 15,000 brands selling more than a million unique products on the platform.
“Our mission is to create a global wholesale business to swing the balance in favor of independents,” explains Nicolas Cohen, co-CEO and co-founder.
“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simple for brands and independent retailers to do business together, being a part of their daily lives and changing the outdated habits of how retail works today – for the better.
“This funding will allow us to expand geographically and accelerate activities in our European core markets.”