Nigerian Social commerce platform MAKA raises $2.65m to streamline fashion and beauty shopping

Nigerian Social commerce platform MAKA raises $2.65m to streamline fashion and beauty shopping

Published: 20-12-2023 14:57:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 3292 | Tags:

MAKA, the Nigerian fashion and beauty e-commerce platform, has raised a $2.65 million pre-seed round. The investment was co-led by prominent investors 4DX Ventures and Janngo, with additional backing from Palm Drive Capital. Notably, the round also includes angel investor Jonathan Shipman (Former EVP and Twitch founding member) and executives from delivery platform Wolt. 

Founded in 2021, MAKA is an interactive social commerce platform which, through live try-on hauls, reviews, and user-generated content from both creators and customers, enables users to discover products tailored to their personal styles in a scalable way.

After struggling to find inclusive fashion inspiration during the pandemic, Co-founder and CEO, Owusu-Kyereko found herself being directed to mainstream websites and influencers by friends. Realising an unmet need and a lack of diversity in style recommendations, she founded MAKA, which has to date amassed over 554k downloads.

Driven by rapidly increasing technology adoption, particularly among the continent’s 1.1 billion millennials and Gen Zs, Africa’s e-commerce market presents a largely untapped market for fashion brands. Over the past few years, e-commerce penetration in Africa has surged, rising from 13% active paying customers in the general African population in 2017 to 28% in 2021, representing 334 million users. This rapid growth has accelerated the development of Africa's fashion sector, allowing brands to access a wider base of consumers across the continent.

MAKA’s social commerce model, centred on strategic collaboration between creators and consumers, taps into this thriving market and reflects the growing trend of influencer-inspired buying decisions.  MAKA addresses significant issues in the African e-commerce sector. Local apparel brands are scarce, leaving consumers with limited options that speak to their style and fit. In-person shopping remains stressful and limited, while a fragmented online shopping landscape makes it hard to discover and trust new brands, with social media feeds inundating people with personalised content. By blending content and commerce, MAKA is set apart from disjointed, existing platforms. 

Diana Owusu-Kyereko, Co-founder and CEO, MAKA: "African e-commerce deserves better, and we’re driven by our belief that everyone should be able to easily discover their style, feel represented and express their individuality. Our technology, coupled with our team of experts, not only empowers users but also liberates them to confidently explore and make purchases from verified and trusted brands. Young consumers today face a shared dilemma - they crave authenticity and the freedom to set their own trends, but they are influenced by real people, and they seek choice and individuality without being misled. Our focus remains clear, and we're committed to providing our users with an authentic space to explore their unique style while empowering creators to showcase their content and connect with new audiences. We want to foster meaningful connections between creators and customers.''