Another day, another social mobile shopping app on the march. U.K.-based Depop, which was founded in 2011 but launched officially in April this year, has just closed a $1 million seed round, from several fashion industry-focused investors: the round was led by Red Circle Investments, the investment company run by the Rosso family, owners of Italian fashion brand Only The Brave, and joined by Luca Marzotto.
It’s the first time either investor has funded a U.K.-based technology startup, although Depop was incubated in Italy, and soft launched its service there initially. After graduating from the startup incubator H-Farm, Depop’s founder Simon Beckerman also raised €1 million in funding from Balderton Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures.
Depop can be described as a pocket “flea market” — competing with the likes of Shpock[iTunes], Stuffle [iTunes] and Osom [iTunes] in Europe, or Rumgr[iTunes] and Yardsale [iTunes] in the U.S., or Chile’s Vendly [iTunes] in the mobile shopping space, to name a few.
As with many such apps, Depop takes a low-hassle, smartphone-centric approach to listing items — allowing users to snap a quick photo on their phone to list an item for sale, add description, price, location and delivery details and then promote the listing to their social networks including Facebook and Twitter, as well as being listed on their Depop profile.
Payments can be made through Depop via PayPal, where the startup takes a small commission, or there’s a cash on collection option if the seller prefers. Depop said today that one million items have been listed using its free-to-download app.
Why the fashion-industry focused investors? Depop isn’t just a pocket flea market for individuals to sell unwanted items. It’s also been pitching itself as an additional retail channel for independent shops and brands. At its April launch, it cited U.K. independent stores Beach London, Mint Vintage and Never Fully Dressed as partners. Beckerman also has a background working in the fashion business.
“While Depop allows anyone to buy and sell desirable goods, a large portion of what’s bought and sold is fashion items,” the startup told TechCrunch. “Securing these investors, with such credible experience in fashion, in addition to the value that Balderton and Holzbrinck bring from working with tech businesses, provides Depop with the perfect combination of experience.”
“To have the backing from such influential investors, whose experience lies predominantly in the fashion industry, provides huge validation for us,” added Beckerman in a statement. “We can now confidently take our next steps in scaling the business, with a particular focus on product development, and growing and nurturing our active community.”
Depop said the new funding will be used “primarily” for product development and expanding the team — with the ultimate aim of growing the community of buyers and sellers internationally. Depop currently has more than 100,000 users.
On the product development front, an Android Depop app is in the works — due to land in the “coming months”.