Social Buying App Depop Raises $8M, Hires Ex-Reddit GM To Break Into US Market
Whereas eBay tries to get extra social and native, and Pinterest deepens is place in e-commerce, a brand new cellular app out of London is constructing out a platform that mixes all of these experiences collectively natively. Depop, a cellular app for iOS and Android that’s half Instagram-fashion social community and half eBay market, has raised an $eight million Collection A spherical led by Balderton Capital (previously Benchmark Capital Europe) and Holtzbrinck Ventures. It is going to use the funding to increase into the U.S., with new rent Erik Martin, the ex-GM of Reddit, main the cost.
Since launching within the UK in 2013, Depop has seen 1.eight million downloads of its app, and whereas it has but to reveal metrics like gross merchandise worth or general revenues, CEO Runar Reistrup says that particular person posters within the UK — who pay no itemizing charge however give Depop a ten% reduce of gross sales — have bought “hundreds of things” and made “tens of hundreds of kilos” within the course of.
As a digital flea market, Depop could be very straightforward to make use of: as a vendor, you principally take an image and add it in a only a few steps to your “store.” As a purchaser you’ll be able to both seek for gadgets by key phrase or by shopping lists from different individuals you comply with, responding to issues individuals have tagged so that you can take a look at, or comply with Depop’s suggestions for you make by its in-home curators.
What makes Depop fascinating as a market, nevertheless, is its robust second life as a social networking group. Reistrup says individuals are virtually as more likely to come simply to look and touch upon issues and converse with one another as they’re to purchase. In different phrases, individuals might come for eBay-fashion market, however they keep for the Instagram-type expertise, with many individuals checking in as much as eight occasions a day.
“We glance much less like an e-commerce website, and rather more like a social media platform,” Reistrup says. He says that many come simply to hang around and chat with one another, and there have even been situations of “Depop dates” popping out of the app. Certainly, Depop can also be eye-catching due to the demographics it targets. Proper now it has “virtually a 50-50 cut up” between women and men utilizing the location, the CEO says, and its viewers is primarily within the coveted 18-36 age bracket. Given Pinterest’s push to make itself extra “man-pleasant” and eBay’s fusty fame as a legacy market, Depop’s younger and gender-impartial positioning is notable.
If Depop is tapping into a brand new type of on-line buying expertise, the place individuals advocate gadgets, you comply with different like-minded buyers, and purchasing is intermingled with a really non-business social expertise, it’s not alone.
In Europe there are rivals like Shpock and Stuffle. Within the U.S. nevertheless Yardsale, a Y-Combinator alum, is not round, and one other competitor referred to as Rumgr was bought on to Close5, which was a part of Dutch firm Marktplaats, which acquired acquired by eBay. That factors to each the difficulties of launching these platforms, but in addition the potential curiosity it could possibly appeal to from a much bigger participant if it manages to realize market traction.
That is the place Martin will are available. He was with Reddit for six years, and as basic supervisor he was tasked with serving to to develop the corporate, determining how one can capitalise on what a younger firm is doing nicely to assist it develop.
“Clearly Depop and Reddit are very totally different however what they’ve in widespread is that they’re quite simple on the floor but in addition very versatile,” he informed me. “They each let customers outline how they use the platform, which is a quite simple however highly effective concept. Once I began at Reddit it was only a hyperlink aggregator however individuals began making textual content posts and now that’s a majority of the location. I’ve discovered easy methods to recognise patterns and what a consumer group does with versatile instruments.”
Martin, it ought to be famous, has stored busy within the brief relaxation he has taken between leaving Reddit and becoming a member of Depop. He’s been engaged on a not-for-revenue effort referred to as Assholes on Demand, which goals to assist individuals resolve issues and phone the fitting individual on-line when one thing goes fallacious with their services or products. They’ve an exquisite mission assertion:
Assholes on Demand helps individuals navigate the complicated and irritating world of customer support and get what you deserve. We’re caring and resourceful assholes* who will aid you battle your battles. You’re not alone and also you aren’t going loopy.
Hopefully, his AOD world and Depop worlds will keep away from collision. Certainly, subsequent up for Depop shall be tackling a few of the age-previous issues of any e-commerce operation — issues which have foxed many a market startup. They embrace determining the logistics and delivery behind the service, and the way greatest to scale it whereas maintain ahold of the group spirit that exists in the present day.
Reistrup says that on the aspect of logistics, at present the service is sufficiently small that Depop leaves it to sellers to work methods to get merchandise to consumers, and the distances aren’t that lengthy, this gained’t be the case as they proceed to develop.
“We wish to associate or begin constructing out delivery help as a result of we recognise that if we need to make this a enjoyable and straightforward strategy to promote, it’s not enjoyable and straightforward to attend within the publish workplace,” he says. The forms of corporations it’d work with, he says, embrace the likes of Postmates or Shyp.