This website initially appealed mainly to small designer brands. But more famous brands have made their entry in recent months.
One anchor store, in English, is “a store that attracts visitors to the shopping streets”. It is to give back to small independent traders a capacity of attraction that Pierre-Louis Lacoste, Nicolas d’Audiffret, Nicolas Cohen and Mathieu Alengrin, e-commerce specialists through Etsy or Vestiaire Collective, have created the place Ankorstore market two years ago.
It didn’t take long for him to become a unicorn, that is, a company valued at over $ 1 billion. The marketplace has just raised 250 million euros from Bond and Tiger Global funds, with the participation of Eurazeo, Coatue, Index Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, GFC, Alven and Aglae. Ankorstore had already raised 84 million euros in May 2021. Since then, its workforce has grown from 40 to 400 people.
“Many companies have endeavored to make it easier for merchants to cash in or manage their online store, notes Nicolas Cohen, co-president of Ankorstore. But the biggest problem for small traders is supply. A merchant doesn’t have to sell the same thing as Amazon if they want to differentiate themselves and attract customers. ” However, for an independent trader, listing a new supplier is not easy. “He has to go to two trade shows each year, surf Instagram, contact brands, negotiate purchasing conditions with each. All of this is extremely time-consuming ”, he continues.
Rather than this obstacle course, Ankorstore offers to give them direct access to 15,000 preselected brands. The minimum purchase, for the merchant, is only 100 euros per brand, delivery is free beyond 300 euros, and they can pay within 60 days thanks to a partnership with the specialist in split payment Alma.
Ankorstore is remunerated by taking a commission of 10% to 20% on sales made by brands, for which it is a business provider.
While the marketplace initially attracted mainly small designer brands, more well-known brands have entered it in recent months. For example, Respire cosmetics, Alain Milliat delicatessen products, Sophie La Girafe toys and Faguo clothing. Corn “15,000 brands is not enough yet, considers Nicolas Cohen. We want to further expand our brand portfolio. ”
Ankorstore will use part of the funds raised to accelerate its development abroad. The marketplace is already accessible in 23 countries. The potential is considerable: Europe alone has 2 million independent traders, while Ankorstore has so far only identified 200,000 among its customers, 40% of whom are in France.
It is also necessary to retain the latter. Another part of the funds will be devoted to improving the customer experience. The platform and the shopping experience will be refined, and resources will be invested in the use of data in order to make more relevant recommendations to merchants. Finally, to offer them better customer service, Ankorstore is preparing to open a dedicated platform in Lille, with around one hundred employees.