US VC Tiger Global’s European startup shopping spree continues, giving Europe’s third largest tech ecosystem its largest Series B raise in 2021 and second largest ever.
Paris-based Ankorstore raised $100m (€82m) in new funding on Monday, led by Tiger Global and Bain Capital Ventures, to expand its online marketplace selling brands to independent shops. It’s the 14th investment for Tiger in Europe in 2021, as tracked by Dealroom.
The investment follows the Ankorstore’s Series A round in December last year, where it raised €25m.
The company, founded in 2019, 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.
Ankorstore’s raise comes as French startups continue to see increasing investment after a record year last year — and as Europe as whole continues to benefit from Tiger’s global spree.
Despite many retailers being closed due to the pandemic, Ankorstore’s business tripled across the first four months of 2021. The company now supplies 50k shops across France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg — and it expanded to the UK earlier this year.
Taking on Amazon
Ankorstore has said their mission is to empower local retailers to compete with the likes of Amazon.
As small shops face existential threats brought on by the pandemic, Amazon's profits continue to rise, with its net profit soaring 84% last year compared to 2019. If smaller shops are to survive, tech like Ankorstore could be part of levelling the playing field between them and the retail giants.
"The charm of our towns and villages in Europe depends on millions of independent retailers that have been hit hard over the past year and a half," says Nicolas D’Audiffret, cofounder of Ankorstore.
"More than ever retailers will need to get great inventory for great terms, to be flexible to manage risks and to get access to financing to purchase new products to stock shelves."
D’Audiffret says that investors are excited by the opportunity to empower local retailers, and the particular role that tech can have in doing that.
Funding in France
According to data from Dealroom, Ankorstore’s raise is second only to fintech Lydia's $131m round in 2020, in terms of the biggest Series B raises in France.
In comparison, French unicorns Doctolib and BlaBlaCar raised €18m and €10m respectively in their Series B rounds.
Overall, France has seen strong growth in investment into its startups in recent years.
It was the only one of Europe’s three largest markets (the UK, Germany and France) to grow in 2020, exceeding $5bn invested in a year for the first time.
The record year also saw Paris, where Ankorstore is based, secure its title as Europe’s number two hub in terms of investment after London.
The city attracted $3.4bn of investment in 2020 and has seen $11.7bn invested cumulatively since 2016.
"France has now reached an inflection point and we are now garnering the investments required to compete on the global stage," says D’Audiffret, cofounder of Ankorstore.
"What is great and very promising is to see the level of ambition growing among the French entrepreneurs who are no longer satisfied with building great local companies."
John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global, said Ankorstore had “quickly become the clear solution in Europe for local retailers to source from independent brands.”
“The incredible adoption over the last eighteen months speaks to an experienced team providing real and timely value to its customers.”
Insider first reported back in April that Ankorstore was in talks to raise fresh funding from Tiger Global.