The Folklore—the e-commerce site launched in 2018 that's known for its focus on luxury and emerging designer brands from African designers and the diaspora, such as Rich Mnisi, Orange Culture and Vavvoune—has announced it has secured a $1.7 million pre-seed funding round to launch a wholesale business-to-business platform called the Folklore Connect. The new platform will enable global retailers and customers to discover and connect with African labels. The Folklore Group also rolled out a new e-commerce marketplace—The Folklore Marketplace—as an affiliate aggregator that will replace the company’s existing direct-to-consumer e-comerce platform. In addition, the site's Folklore Edit will focus on features, interviews and news about the African fashion and design community.

“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,” said Amira Rasool, founder, and CEO of The Folklore Group. “We’re using technology and community to connect brands, customers, and partners that value sustainability and support the new vanguard of design.

"The world is beginning to wake up to the untapped talent across Africa. The Folklore highlights the best design talent across the continent, and demand for these products that reflect the culture is exploding,” said Ajay Relan, Managing Partner of Slauson & Co, which led The Foklore's latest funding round. “Amira is uniquely qualified to lead this charge, and we're excited to stand alongside her while she empowers brands across the continent.”