This month’s client spotlight is with Zoe Bayliss Wong, Director of Finance and Operations at Depop – one of our exciting e-commerce clients that’s changing the way we shop and creating a big buzz in the fashion industry…
Tell us the Depop story?
We were born as a mobile app, mixing elements of social media and retail, becoming popular with the young generation and creatives. Depop sells mostly second-hand or up-cycled fashion, with a strong reputation for vintage and streetwear brands.
Depop was originally created by Simon Beckerman – co-founder of pop-culture magazine PIG and sunglasses brand RETROSUPERFUTURE. It was conceived as a social network where PIG’s readers could buy items featured in the magazine. Realising that Depop needed a selling function, Simon re-envisioned the app as a global marketplace where people buy, sell and discover unique items.
Moving to London in 2014, Depop now has over 10 million registered users and is home to millions of young creative entrepreneurs – many who make over $10,000 a month.
What’s your vision for the business?
Our goal is to empower creative minds. We are building the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. The idea is to help them launch their businesses while connecting with like-minded individuals. By combining mobile shopping with social features, Depop creates a stronger relationship between buyers and sellers and gives room for self-expression. We are fast becoming a key lifestyle space for a generation that values community and sustainability, while possessing a strong entrepreneurial streak.
In 2018, Depop is focusing on global growth, particularly in the US, as well as the launch of our bricks-and-mortar community Depop Spaces and innovative features like video listings.
At what stage in your business did you seek out legal support? (What was the trigger?)
As the company scaled, we started dealing with new issues like copyright and trademarks and wanted to mitigate the growing risk by taking on legal advice.
We needed it to be done on a regular basis and for the legal adviser to deal with a varied range of issues, so it made more sense to outsource the job rather than having one specialist handling it.
Why did you opt to work with LegalEdge as a virtual, in-house team? (What attracted you to their model/approach?)
We really appreciate the flexibility that LegalEdge provides – understanding that no month is the same and that support needs will vary, often unpredictably. With a growing team, we did not have desk space for a permanent individual, so we wanted to outsource whilst retaining a close level of contact.
What’s your biggest challenge as a fast-growth business when it comes to legal issues and how does LegalEdge help you navigate these?
A big challenge when it comes to fast-growth is planning for business issues, when the business is evolving so quickly and resources are low. Our Los Angeles community suddenly shot up organically, beyond expectations, and we realised that we needed to establish a formal office and staffing out there within a matter of months. LegalEdge helped us by undertaking work on our behalf where possible, keeping us aligned on any legal obligations and connecting us with further assistance where needed.
What’s your advice to other scale-ups looking to navigate their legal processes?
Legal risk will grow as you scale, and issues are often late notice or time-restricted. It’s vital to have legal professionals readily available to assist you where needed.
What’s next for Depop? (What are your 3 most important priorities for this year?)
Global expansion – We are building on our continued traction in the US, but also growing our communities in Australia and Canada.
Product enhancement – This is a constant process for us. We need to improve in order to provide the best, social shopping experience for our users, whilst keeping it simple and maintaining trust.
Brand building – We’ve just opened our Depop NY Space, and will be executing on more brand awareness programmes later this year.
How did you manage your GDPR compliance?
We used a GDPR consultancy firm to perform a full data audit and assessment of our data handling. This was then presented to the internal teams, alongside recommendations for changes we needed to make to meet the new regulations. The LegalEdge team continues to work with our Data Protection Officer and is involved in any ongoing GDPR questions.
How did partnering with LegalEdge support your GDPR plan:
Before 25th May?
LegalEdge were with us every step of the way, helping to project manage the internal teams where needed, and liaising directly with our GDPR consultants. They sat in all of our update calls, and were a great support throughout this process.
Post 25th May?
LegalEdge remains part of the GDPR mailing list internally and are regularly involved with any questions that arise.
Since GDPR, what have you found to be the most:
Challenging? Juggling valuable resource time on compliance and legal versus growth and user-facing improvements.
Surprising? The amount of interest and number of requests we’ve had from users surrounding GDPR.
Beneficial? The whole business has pulled together to make things happen, and legal obligations are now integrated across teams rather than just falling on one.
For more information on Depop check out their website: www.depop.com