This secondhand fashion startup wants to become the Depop of Africa. Here’s the 11-slide pitch deck Yaga used to raise $2.2 million.

Aune Aunapuu, cofounder and CEO of Yaga
  • Estonia-based Yaga just raised $2.2 million to bring its secondhand marketplace to Africa and Asia. 
  • The startup, backed by Startup Wise Guys, wants to become the next Vinted or Depop. 
  • We got an exclusive look at the 11-slide pitch deck it used to raise the fresh capital.

An Estonia-based circular economy startup that wants to become the Vinted or Depop of Africa has just raised 2.2 million euros ($2.2 million).

Second-hand fashion marketplace Yaga, based in Tallinn, is a social e-commerce platform that sits in between the likes of Ebay and Instagram. It has a visual feed featuring products up for sale, which are listed by sellers and influencers. Users can like the images, follow sellers, and chat with them before purchasing a product. 

Founder and CEO Aune Aunapuu, a former environmental lead at a Nordic consultancy firm, started the company in 2017 when she got the “entrepreneurial itch” and spotted a gap in the market for a secondhand marketplace in Africa.

“I personally believe that sustainability and sustainable fashion will spread all over the world,” she told Insider. “The west – Europe and the US – is just leading the trend.”

The fashion industry was responsible for 4% of global emissions in 2018 – equal to the combined emissions of France, Germany, and the UK, according to McKinsey. Aunapuu wants to bring unused clothes back into the market “in a hassle-free way,” so consumers ultimately buy fewer new clothes.

The company operates an app and website that are currently available in South Africa, Kenya, and India. Aunapuu hopes to one day dominate the African market and has built geographical nuances into Yaga’s core products, she said.  

“I went to Instagram and looked at how people buy and sell secondhand in South Africa and Kenya,” the founder said. She also went to Facebook Marketplace and Twitter and asked sellers where and how they sell, how they delivered items, how they communicated with buyers, and vice versa. Then she went to Instagram and asked thrift stores what their needs were. 

“What came out of that was that people, especially in emerging markets, are very afraid of getting scammed online,” Aunapuu said. “Yaga is currently a scam-free platform because we are offering the escrow model and mediating payments between the buyer and seller.” 

The company doesn’t release payments to sellers until the buyer confirms that the item has arrived and matches its description. By doing so, it hopes to combat the risks associated with purchasing goods online. Payments are also processed via popular methods in each country; Kenya is familiar with mobile payments, in South Africa they use credit cards, and India has multiple options, Aunapuu said. 

“We cannot use a global payment option like PayPal, because that one solution doesn’t fit all. It is a country-by-country game,” she added. The same applies to delivery; the company uses well-known suppliers in each country instead of a global provider.

Yaga currently has a team in South Africa to provide support in local languages and hopes to follow this strategy in other markets as the company grows. Aunapuu also had her eye on Nigeria and Ghana. 

The round was led by seed investors Startup Wise Guys, with participation from Trind Ventures, Specialist VC, Rubyligh, and Bolt CEO Markus Villig. Angels investors with backgrounds in Wise, Veriff, Katana, and Klaus also handed the startup checks. 

The cash, which brings the company’s total raised to 3.3 million euros ($3.3 million), will be used to double down on the South African market while gathering data on Kenya and India. Headcount will be bolstered from 14 to 30 in the next 18 months. 

Check out the 11-slide pitch deck the company used to raise the cash.

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