Watch out Silicon Valley – the Brooklyn hipsters are here, and they’re ready to take their tech public. Etsy, the handmade marketplace that hails from the artsier streets of the Big Apple is planning on an IPO, rumored to take place this April. One of few closely-held startups that is valued over $1 billion, sources close to Etsy say that the creative marketplace hopes to raise $300 million for their initial public offering. Taking Etsy public would be an exciting change of pace for New York, which hasn’t had a home grown tech company go public since the dot-com era.
Etsy differs vastly from west coast based ecommerce marketplaces that sell manufactured goods. The creative marketplace came to fruition when site founder Rob Kalin realized he didn’t have anywhere to sell his hand-built wooden computer. What started as a place for the painter, carpenter and photographer to list his unique products now serves as a marketplace for 26 million, similarly unexpected items, from indigo meditation cushions, organic cotton scarves and soap shaped like sushi.
Going public could mean big growth for the crafting marketplace. Similar ecommerce companies Wayfair, a marketplace for home goods and GrubHub Inc, an online food-ordering service have both climbed an average of 46% since tapping public markets. In 2013 alone Etsy reported $1.35 billion in gross merchandise sales. With the release of their own credit card payment app that allows shop owners to take their business on the road, that number has likely grown significantly over the last year.
We will continue to report as we learn more of Etsy’s upcoming IPO. In the meantime, we encourage current Etsy sellers to read this shop owner’s advice for Etsy success.
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