Depop gets new investment, plans major US expansion drive
The UK’s Gen Z-focused fashion marketplace Depop has secured a €55 million Series C funding injection led by General Atlantic, with existing investors also taking part.
The peer-to-peer platform aims to use the new money to boost its international expansion, particularly in the US, as well as investing in its engineering and data science teams, plus creating new tools and functionality for the platform’s 13 million+ global users.
With the US having been growing fast and soon to become its largest market, the American focus makes sense and Depop has a target of 15 million+ users there within three years. Its US growth has been helped by a multichannel approach with the opening of physical stores in New York’s Chinatown and Silverlake, Los Angeles.
The company is eight years old and was originally targeted at the creative community, but found that it resonated strongly with Gen Z. Its huge offer, including original streetwear, indie brands, vintage high-end pieces, and one-offs, combined with its social connectivity to feed perfectly into the obsessions of younger consumers seeking something different from the mainstream. A massive majority (around 90%) of its active users are 26 and under and it has been claimed that around a third of those aged between 16 and 24 in the UK are Depop users.
One key element in its appeal is that the app has plenty of personalisation elements that also help clear away some of the ‘noise’ in a very crowded retail/social media world, with users able to select their preferred style and then find brands and influencers to follow and buy from that fit that profile.
“The next generation of young people want an experience the fashion industry is struggling to provide,” said CEO Maria Raga. “They want authenticity and to set their own trends. They’re influenced by real people. They want choice and individuality, the ability to buy on demand and sell on with ease. At the same time, they want to reduce waste. Depop is set up to meet these changing demands. We exist to empower the next generation to transform fashion.”
“Technology continues to transform the retail landscape around the world and we are incredibly excited to be investing in Depop as it looks to capture the huge opportunity ahead of it,” said Melis Kahya, General Atlantic Head of Consumer for EMEA. “In a short space of time the team has developed a truly differentiated platform and globally relevant offering for the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs and consumers. The organic growth generated in recent years is a testament to the impact they are having and we look forward to working with the team to further accelerate the business.”
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