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 550,000 downloads.
The startup has now raised US$2.65 million in pre-seed funding to help it scale. The investment was co-led by 4DX Ventures and Janngo, with additional backing from Palm Drive Capital. It also includes angel investor Jonathan Shipman and executives from delivery platform Wolt.
“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,” said Owusu-Kyereko.
“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, said her company had been drawn to MAKA’s vision as it leverages technology to empower both consumers and creators, thus cementing its 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 US$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,” she said.