french startup Ankorstore has raised a $283 million Series C funding round (€250 million). Founded in November 2019, it took nearly two years to reach a post-money valuation of $2 billion (€1.75 billion). The company operates a wholesale market for independent retailers throughout Europe.
Ankorstore lets independent brands sell their products to independent retailers. Those retailers can then sell those products to their customers. This is a B2B2C game with a focus on offline sales at the end of the series.
You can find everything from household supplies to maple syrup, candles, headbands, bath salts and stationery items at Ankorstore. Some workspaces in particular are working quite well, such as non-perishable groceries, beauty products, and items for your home.
And it’s working out very well given the company’s trajectory. There are currently 200,000 retailers using the marketplace and sourcing items from 15,000 brands. In May 2021, when Ankorstore rolled out its Series B, the company told me it was working with 50,000 stores and 5,000 brands.
This brings us to today’s funding round. Bond and Tiger Global led to Series C. Urazio and Coteau also participated in the round. Some existing investors have more money on the table, such as Index Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, GFC, Elven and Agle Ventures.
There aren’t many companies competing in the space. The most famous wholesale market is probably to do, a US-based company that has raised over $1 billion – It has recently started European expansion, create And orderchamp They also operate wholesale markets in Europe.
market without inventory
Ankorstore has teams in five countries – France, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. It sells products in 23 European markets. Retailers can pay for up to 60 days after ordering something and there are no hidden fees. Essentially, Ankorstore helps retailers focus on curation, service while startups take care of procurement.
For brands listing their items on Ankorstore, they take a 10% reduction on every transaction after a higher 20% discount on first order through Ankorstore.
Some brands still deal directly with mass retailers, such as department stores. And Ankorstore doesn’t stop the brand from hiring salespeople, going to fairs, etc. Marketplace is just another sales channel and another opportunity to find customers.
And that’s the beauty of the wholesale markets business model. Ankorstore does not have a warehouse and does not have any inventory. The company facilitates transactions only between brands and retailers without any capital investment.
Co-founder and co-CEO Nicholas Cohen told me, “We think we are closer to LinkedIn in the way we work – it is a network of professionals and we help them connect with each other. “
And like all social networks, as the platform gets bigger, there are also some strong network effects. Specifically, Ankorstore is expected to expand into new categories, such as perishable food.
The startup already has a deal in place with UPS to help brands with shipping. But the company hasn’t done much when it comes to warehousing solutions for smaller brands. This is another opportunity down the road.
With 400 employees and a lot of money in their bank account, Ankorstore can act as the unifying layer of this highly fragmented industry.