Depop, the fashion resale app, has revealed plans to push further across Europe and into Asia next year as it continues to take the millennial world by storm.
The UK tech success story – which counts around a third of British 15-24-year-olds as users and boasts pop star Lily Allen among its fans – said it has more countries on the Continent in its sights, as well as plans to launch in Japan and South Korea in the future.
Depop chief executive Maria Raga said Depop would also use some of its recent $62 million (£50 million) fundraising to expand further across America, which already accounts for around 30% of its revenues and user base.
Sales on the app – which has its headquarters in the UK – surged by 85% in 2018 and impressive double-digit growth is set to be maintained this year, according to the group.
Raga said that as well as fuelling its own success, it is also creating an army of young entrepreneurs.
Some of Depop’s biggest sellers are bringing in more than £300,000 each a year from selling second-hand items on the app. For some, it has already become a full-time venture.
“One of the things that excites me the most about Depop is the empowering of young people to build a business in an easy way,” said Raga.
She said the most successful Depop sellers have the usual entrepreneurial qualities – “hard working, being passionate” – but are also very good curators and know how to style photos to make sales.
She added: “We’re making it extra easy for them to get the ball rolling and it’s up to them to take it to the next level. We’ve got a number of sellers that are making not just a living, but serious business.”
Some of Depop’s most popular sellers are being showcased in a physical pop-up store within Selfridges on Oxford Street, which runs until the end of October.
Raga is championing the campaign to get more students – and especially girls – interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects and to learn essential digital skills.
She has signed up to judge the Vodafone Foundation’s new Digital Creators’ Challenge, inviting school pupils to design an app for the chance to win up to £6,000 to spend on IT equipment.
Depop is becoming the new eBay for fashion-savvy teens – offering them a unique way to gain financial skills and business acumen by building mini empires from their bedrooms. Since being founded in 2011, it has now amassed more than 15 million users.
Raga said Depop had captured the imagination of these teenagers thanks to its focus on mobile and the social media community it has built.
She added that whereas eBay was a great general marketplace, it did not offer the fashion focus – or as Raga put it, “you’ll find a very nice watch next to a dishwasher”.
While Depop still has around 60% of its revenues generated in the UK, its global plans are putting it on course to become a worthy contender to its established rivals.