Peer-to-peer e-commerce app Depop just landed $62 million in Series C funding. The funding round was led by General Atlantic; HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Balderton Capital, Creandum, Octopus Ventures, TempoCap and Sebastian Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Swedish payments company Klarna, also participated.
“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,” said Melis Kahya, General Atlantic Head of Consumer for EMEA, as reported by TechCrunch. “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.”
With the funding, the company plans to expand into the US market and compete with Vinted and Poshmark, as well as Instagram’s and Pinterest’s emerging commerce platforms.
Based in London, the app makes it easy for users, mostly teenagers and young adults, to sell and re-sell their items on its platform. Depop CEO Maria Raga said that the company’s mission when it first started was to make shopping “social and simple and fun,” a message that resonates with its user base.
“It’s all about arts and creatives,” she explained to Retail Gazette. “It became something that really differentiates Depop against other market places. We have a very strong brand, and a lot of people that would love to be associated with Depop just because of the brand we represent.”
Over 13 million people use the app, and individuals follow and message each other about 85 million times a month. Depop has experienced a revenue growth of 100% for the past few years and a gross merchandise value of more than $500 million, of which the company takes a 10 percent cut.
“We definitely want to empower people to become independent,” Maria continued.
The CEO also stated that the startup’s brand strategy came about in a very organic way—something that many companies often lack when trying to attract young customers.
“Brands want to be associated with us because we have a user base that is very young,” she explained. “It’s becoming tough for brands to talk to a young audience. [This generation is] a lot less likely to buy an item because a brand tells it so.”
Unlike many other platforms that fail to reach a young audience, Depop understood the power of social media from day one.
“Social appeal is very much a consequence of why we’re successful,” Maria stated. “We never had to put in a lot of effort to grow. We spent very little in marketing. The idea is that we will spend money in the future, but we will always keep this organic machine working. It is so important to build sustainable community in an authentic way. The moment you make it too commercial, too in your face, then the value of the community becomes very polluted.”
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