Etsy buying Gen Z-oriented clothing app Depop for $1.63 billion

Etsy is making an outsize bet on Gen Z’s vintage clothing craze.

The Brooklyn-based arts-and-crafts site said Wednesday it is buying the social shopping app Depop — which has a reputation for selling TikTok-worthy vintage clothing — for $1.63 billion in cash.

London-based Depop, founded in 2011, says about 90 percent of its 30 million users across 150 countries are under the age of 26. By contrast, Etsy has a reputation for stocking cutesier vintage items and home goods that are popular among millennials and older generations. The median Etsy user is 39.

As in-person shopping slowed during the pandemic, Depop’s business boomed. The company’s revenue more than doubled year-over-year in 2020 to $70 million. It has also boasted collaborations with brands like Ralph Lauren and Adidas.

Depop’s interface mimics features of social media apps like Instagram, allowing buyers and sellers to follow each other, scroll through a feed and “like” items of clothing. The site also incentivizes sellers to style items in Instagram-like photoshoots.

“We are simply thrilled to be adding Depop — what we believe to be the resale home for Gen Z consumers — to the Etsy family,” said Etsy CEO Josh Silverman in a statement. 

The Etsy website on a laptop computer.
The deal gives Etsy a foothold with younger consumers.
Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Depop will remain headquartered in London under current leadership.

Both Depop and Etsy have benefited as consumer interest in the vintage clothing market has surged in recent years. The market is expected to reach $64 billion in the US by 2024.