LONDON, United Kingdom — Depop has raised a $20 million Series B round led by Octopus Ventures, a British venture capital firm, with participation from TempoCap, along with existing investors Balderton, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, H-Farm, Creandum and Lumar, as well as Italian entrepreneurs Luca Marzotto and OTB’s Renzo Rosso.
The London-based social shopping start-up (think: Instagram meets Ebay) plans to use the new funding to open brick-and-mortar stores in two of the trendiest neighborhoods in the United States: New York’s Chinatown and the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. “Now is the right time for this investment, because we want to expand in the US, which is a big market for us,” said Depop founder Simon Beckerman. The company declined to disclose current revenue figures, but according to Beckerman, Depop grew sales by 130 percent in the US in 2017.
Depop’s new spaces in New York and LA, expected to launch by the autumn, will be used to host pop-ups and events, as well as house company offices. The move, said Beckerman, was inspired by YouTube, which invites video makers to film and edit in its studios spaces. “That’s something we want to offer. The whole vision of Depop is bringing together a community of creative people who love fashion, music and design.”
The new funding will also enable Depop to expand its technology development team “so we can launch features that we’ve been waiting to do for years, such as machine learning and personalisation,” said Beckerman. When done right, this can be a major boon for consumer businesses in the era of unlimited choice. Indeed, the BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion 2018 report identified AI and personalisation as key trends.
Founded in 2012, Depop has over 8 million registered users and has become home to millions of young entrepreneurs, with some making over $10,000 monthly from their stores on the platform. “The platform has built a large engaged and loyal user base… who can leverage their unique community and inventory, generate their own brands and build revenue channels. This taps into a key trend in retail for Millennials,” said Rebecca Hunt, an investor at Octopus Ventures, who will be joining Depop’s board.