British fashion resale app Depop has been sold to US marketplace giant Etsy for $1.6bn (£1.1bn), as the company sharpens its focus on smartphone-savvy Generation Z shoppers.
Depop was founded by British-Italian businessman Simon Beckerman in 2011, specialising in selling vintage and second-hand clothing and shoes to young fashion-conscious consumers.
Around 90 per cent of its 30 million registered users – 4 million of whom were active buyers last year – are under the age of 26: the lucrative Gen Z demographic that brands including Etsy are increasingly keen to target.
Mr Beckerman has described Depop as wanting to be like a newer, more modern eBay, telling Artefact magazine it was a “social marketplace with a chat”.
“The idea is that Depop is your own shop in your pocket, like our slogan, so wherever you go, your little shop, your boutique follows you,” he said.
“So you should have your shop as pretty as possible, as if you had a real one.”
“Ebay is complicated, long and if you want to sell something for £5 it just doesn’t work. So having Depop as a social marketplace with a chat is better and all the girls love it.”
The company’s gross sales were approximately $650m last year, while revenue was $70m, both increasing by 100 per cent compared to the previous year.
Similarly, handmade marketplace Etsy reported record financial results in 2020 as consumers turned to online shopping during global Covid-19 pandemic, taking $1.7bn in revenue.
Maria Raga, Depop’s chief executive, said the company’s community was made up of people “creating a new fashion system by establishing new trends and making new from old”.
“They come to Depop for the clothes, but stay for the culture,” she added.
Depop, which is headquartered in east London, will continue to run as a standalone business, Etsy confirmed.
Josh Silverman, Etsy’s chief executive, said: “We are simply thrilled to be adding Depop—what we believe to be the resale home for Gen Z consumers—to the Etsy family.”
Depop is classified as a unicorn: a company valued at a billion dollars, counting the likes of banking company Monzo, athleisure empire Gymshark and beer makers BrewDog among its peers.