The Folklore Group announced it has raised 1.7 million dollars in a pre-seed funding round that will help it launch a conglomerate of B2B and consumer platforms for African and diasporic brands.
The funding round was led by Slauson & Co. and had additional participation from Fearless Fund, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Nneka Ogwumike and Backbone Angels.
The funding will go towards the development and operation of three platforms: The Folklore Connect, a wholesale e-commerce site, The Folklore Marketplace, a consumer shopping aggregator, and The Folklore Edit, an online media platform.
Each site is dedicated to the African and diasporic design industry and holds the goal of enabling global retailers and consumers to discover and connect with those in that community.
“Our vision to see African brands in the hands of customers…”
Initially, the group, which was founded by 26-year-old Amira Rasool in 2018, launched as a multi-brand e-commerce retailer for luxury and emerging African designers and has since restructured to create better solutions for engagement.
In a release, Rasool, who is also the founder of the group, said: “The Folklore Connect is the next step in our vision to see African brands in the hands of customers around the world and to create opportunities for them that encourage scalability and fuel them to compete globally.
“We’re using technology and community to connect brands, customers and partners that value sustainability and support the new vanguard of design.”
The Folklore Connect and The Folklore Marketplace have launched with both established and emerging designers across apparel, accessories, beauty and homeware, with the likes of Rich Mnisi, Orange Culture and Suki Suki Naturals already available on the platforms.
Additionally, The Folklore Group is continuing to accept applications for the next wave of brands and retailers interested in joining the waitlist for the Connect site.