While monetisation strategies for social networks weren’t always clear-cut in the beginning, businesses advertising on the channels is now the norm. Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than on Instagram, which boasts 25 million business profiles – an announcement bolstered with increased abilities to encourage its more than one billion users to shop. But what was the inspiration? One could argue Depop had some influence on the Facebook-owned app’s shift.
Proving how fashionable the power of social media and e-commerce can be when bundled together, social shopping marketplace Depop has just raised a massive $62m series C investment. With purchases at the core of its design alongside eye-catching imagery, users are able to connect, buy and sell with each other. And for that reason it’s been likened to “eBay and Instagram having a baby.”
The new investment is three times the amount of its $20m series B round and will support the London-headquartered firm as it scales its presence even further across America. As it stands, the fashion-focused app has five million users across the pond and predicts a rise to 15 million in the next three years. On top of that, Depop has a footprint on Stateside sidewalks with stores in New York and LA.
In addition to nurturing its US presence, Depop will use the funding to make significant hires to build the engineering and data science teams at its Hackney office, which will subsequently provide enhanced tools and services for the 13 million users registered currently.
Growth equity investor General Atlantic led the injection. It was joined by existing investors including HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Balderton Capital, Creandum, Octopus Ventures and TempoCap alongside angel investor and entrepreneur Sebastian Siemiatkowski.
Commenting on the raise, Maria Raga, CEO at Depop, said: “The next generation of young people want an experience the fashion industry is struggling to provide. 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.”
Raga went on to detail that social shopping, independents and reselling are all growing global trends. Indeed, Depop has managed to secure a loyal fanbase among Generation Z in particular, with the app acting as a destination to discover unique streetwear, small brands, one-off items and more, boasting some 16 million items for sale at present and 110,000 listed daily.
There’s no denying the role played by the likes of Facebook, Instagram and the other big dogs but likewise it’s important for entrepreneurs and investors to keep their eyes open on what’s on the horizon too. It certainly seems to be paying off for those behind Depop.