Second Italian unicorn, Depop acquired by Etsy for 1.625 billion
This is the news of the year that is going around the world, at the same time giving prestige to our country. Depop, the social shopping startup, founded by Simon Beckerman in 2011 and which in 2019 had closed a round of 62 million euros, was acquired by the giant Etsy for 1.625 billion dollars.
Born with the name “Garage” in Italy in H-Farm, the first innovation “incubator” now the most important innovation platform in Europe, it started with a seed investment by H-Farm and with an investment by Nana Bianca and now it has become, together with YooX, the Italian standard-bearer in the Olympus of unicorns.
At first it was a social network in which the readers of Pig magazine, an editorial reality founded by Beckerman in the 90s, could buy articles featured in the magazine. Then Simon decided to reinvent the app as a global market in which to see, buy and take inspiration on new trends: thus a revolutionary e-commerce was born for those years, whose rapid growth is mainly due to democratic costs and the strong interest of Generation Z consumers (as of 2019, 90% of its active users were under 26).
Depop, born in Italy in 2011, achieved a turnover of 70 million dollars last year with 400 employees. Its network is made up of 4 million buyers and 2 million sellers, with an exchange of goods worth $ 650 million in 2020.
Beckerman was born in Milan to an Italian mother and an English father. The passion for drawing led him to attend art school first and industrial design at the Polytechnic then.
After his studies, together with his brother Daniel, two years younger and with the same passion for design, he first worked in a web agency that created websites and logos for companies, and then founded a free pocket magazine, Pig (People in Groove) : seven issues, then on newsstands.
And it is an immediate success. Pig becomes one of the most influential Italian independent magazines for the discovery of young emerging talents in the world of fashion and music. In the early 2000s, the two brothers dedicated themselves to an eyewear project and launched the Super brand, immediately worn by the most famous characters in cinema and entertainment.
It is in 2011 that the Beckerman brothers decide to separate and to follow different paths: while Daniel continues to manage Super, Simon is aiming for a new entrepreneurial adventure. “In April 2011 I wanted to create an app – he says – for two reasons: partly because I was attracted to the idea of creating an app, and then because I was looking for a way to do ecommerce with the objects mentioned in Pig magazine. In designing the app I followed some criteria: it had to be social to understand what people like and know what people want to buy and sell, and then it had to be mobile, so that it was always at hand “.
Thus was born the idea of Depop, which at first Beckerman calls Garage: “when I finished designing the app I realized that, rather than selling the magazine’s items, it would be better to give everyone the opportunity to put for sale, through a photo, the objects they had in the garage or at home. In short, I created a sort of pocket market in which to sell and buy photographed objects. A virtual place where buyers chat, buy and sell“.