Social commerce platform MAKA raises $2.65M to simplify buying fashion and beauty products in Africa 

MAKA's social commerce platform, powered by a trusted creator network, makes discovering and purchasing items seamless and enjoyable 

MAKA, Africa’s leading fashion and beauty e-commerce platform, has raised a $2.65M 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 by CEO Diana Owusu-Kyereko 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, 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.
Africa’s booming e-commerce market
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. According to Hubspot, 30% of people cite creator recommendations as impacting purchases. 
A secure marketplace built on trust
MAKA, which is built on trust and individuality, 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 impersonalised content.
By blending content and commerce, MAKA is set apart from disjointed, existing platforms. 
Diana Owusu-Kyereko, co-founder and CEO of MAKA, comments, “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.”  
Fatoumata Bâ, Founder and Executive Chair of Janngo Capital, comments: “We were drawn to MAKA’s vision as they leverage technology to empower both consumers and creators, thus cementing their position at the forefront of the junction between e-commerce, creative and cultural industries across Africa. These three sectors are jointly poised to grow by 4x by 2050 and generate up to $200 billion GDP while creating 184 million jobs. We are proud to lead this funding round to help unlock a potential of massive growth and impact on the continent.”

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