French startup Ankorstore has become Europe’s newest unicorn, with a €1.75bn valuation, after raising €250m in new investment.
The round was led by US firms Bond and Tiger Global, which also backed Ankorstore in its €82m Series B in May 2021. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to €365m.
Paris-based Ankorstore is the second French company to secure unicorn status in 2022, after HR tech PayFit announced a $289m round last week.
Founded in 2019, Ankorstore runs an online marketplace where up-and-coming brands can sell directly to independent shops, allowing them to sell more varied stock and be more agile with the products they’re choosing.
The Covid crisis is pushing people to realise that the store down the street is important
Ankorstore is active in 23 countries and has 200,000 retailers using its platform. Its brands cover a range of sectors — homeware, children’s products, beauty and fashion.
The marketplace is free for brands initially but then they’re charged a commission on the sales they make; Ankorstore does, however, offer free shipping to ensure they don’t make losses on smaller orders.
The company says its mission is to empower local retailers to compete with the likes of Amazon.
“We don’t want to live in a world where the only place you can buy the stuff for your house or the presents from your kids is Amazon,” founder Pierre-Louis Lacoste, who previously worked at online marketplace Etsy, told Sifted in 2020.
“The Covid crisis is pushing people to realise that the store down the street is important, it’s the heart of a community,” he said. “The world of tomorrow is not just the world of Amazon.”
Ankorstore now has 400 employees and offices in Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm.