Depop, the English-based social shopping application, hasannounced the end of a successful seed-funding round led by Red Circle Investments and Luca Marzotto, board member of the Hugo Boss group. It is the first time that either of the two firms has chosen to invest in a UK-based technology start up.
Depop was first founded in 2011 by Simon Beckerman, who previously ran a monthly music, fashion and lifestyle magazine known as PIG. He went on to graduate from the start up ground H-Farm, which is where he dreamed up the initial notion for Depop and managed to raise one million euros in funding for the concept from Balderton Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures. Depop was first launched on iOS devices beginning 2013 and is free to download. The application offers its users the liberty to take a photo of the item they wish to sell, upload it on their profile page and type a description, price, location and delivery details before listing the item for sale online. Beckerman stated that his idea for Depop came from the notion that selling and buying goods via mobile “should be easy and fun”. He concluded that: “I didn’t want to create a faceless marketplace used by strangers, but a system that’s mobile, social, and where users can form meaningful relationships with each over a shared interest in quality goods, whether fashion, furniture or art.” Depop also allows its users the option to share their movements on social network sites, so sellers can further promote their goods. All of the transactions that occur on Depop go via Paypal, which ensures both parties that all payments are safe and secure.
Red Circle Investments, who is also run by the owners of Italian holding firm Only the Brave, started in 2011 with main objective to gain and oversee shares in Italian, as well as foreign companies. Their decision to invest in Depop is a reflection of the owners own combined interests, like fashion, sustainability and new technologies. Beckerman stated that for Depop to obtain financial backing from “such influential investor, whose experience lies predominantly in the fashion industry, provides huge validation” for Depop. The applications founder now feels that Depop is ready to go the next level, with main focus on their product development, as well as expanding their current community of Depop users.