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Social Shopping Platform Depop Raises $62M in Funding for US Expansion

Blending the easy browsing capabilities of eBay with the addictive aesthetic of an Instagram feed, selling platform Depop is poised for a U.S. takeover.

A hit with Gen Z shoppers, the London-based startup announced Friday that it had raised $62 million in Series C funding, led by New York-based venture capital firm General Atlantic.

Depop intends to use the new funding to expand its user base, which currently totals 13 million internationally, the company said in a release. With 5 million U.S. users and two stores in New York and Los Angeles, it has already established a notable presence in the States, and intends to court young American shoppers heavily in the months to come.

In fact, Depop predicts that the U.S. will soon become its largest market, with sales almost doubling since January 2018. The company claims the growth has been almost entirely organic, and that new users have gravitated to the platform in droves without an aggressive marketing push.

“Social shopping, independent brands and re-sale are gaining popularity around the world, but particularly in the U.S. where Generation Z will be the largest consumer group by 2020,” said Maria Raga, Depop’s CEO.

The platform’s popularity with the Gen Z contingent stems from both its interface and its selection, which is comprised mostly of streetwear, independent brands, vintage finds and artisan-made creations.

Much of the inventory is re-sale, though some products are new, too. Deftly curated lifestyle shots create a mesmerizing scrolling experience, more reminiscent of a social platform than a retail marketplace.

The platform’s users are almost all young, with 90 percent under the age of 26. Depop estimates that one-third of 16-24 year-olds in the U.K. are registered on the site, and that they open the app several times per day.

The emphasis on community-building and connectivity contributes to user engagement, the company said. Members can like, follow and message each other through the platform—and they do so at a pace of 85 million times per month.

“The next generation of young people want an experience the fashion industry is struggling to provide,” said Depop’s 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.”