Etsy.com is a website that began as an alternative marketplace for handmade or vintage items and has since expanded to include certain unique factory-manufactured items as well. It counts 1.4 million sellers and 19.6 million buyers among its retail community. Over ten years since its founding, it recently filed for an initial public offering.
Reports speculate that the company will be valued at around $2 billion.
Etsy posted earnings in 2014 totaling $195 million, over 50% of which can be accounted for by online transaction fees. However, the company experienced a loss of $15 million, citing rising operating expenses. It has come under criticism for removing some of the seller-filtering standards that had made the website so unique at its inception.
The company, through its book-running managers, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Allen & Company and Morgan Stanley, announced that it aims to raise $100 million in the initial public offering. Etsy’s IPO filing indeed noted the “authenticity of our marketplace and connections within our community” as one of the most important aspects of the business. The company had flirted, for a long time, with the idea of avoiding a traditional IPO, much like Facebook and Twitter.
A successful Etsy IPO will represent a notch in the collars of CEO Chad Dickerson, investors (Glynn Capital Management, Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners) and the New York City-based tech scene as a whole. Etsy plans to trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol “ETSY.”