Well, it looks like the rumors about Etsy’s IPO were spot on. Etsy filed with the SEC on March 4 and has officially announced its plans to go public.
The company has come a long way since former CEO Rob Kalin founded it in 2005 after struggling to find a viable online marketplace to sell his handmade wooden computers. As of December 2014, Etsy boasts 4 million members and counting, with 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers worldwide.
While this $100 million IPO is big news for Etsy, not all of its local merchants are thrilled.
Some Etsy sellers have expressed concerns that Etsy will turn into another Amazon or eBay and lose the sense of community and emphasis on handmade goods that brought them there in the first place.
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson addressed these concerns in a letter to prospective investors included in the filing:
I believe the principles and resources of being a public company align well with the model of shared success that is fundamental to Etsy’s way of doing business, namely that we make money when our sellers make money. Investing in the growth of our business and increasing Etsy’s visibility will help elevate Etsy sellers and attract more buyers, which creates more opportunities for everyone.
In addition, Etsy outlined a few strategies it its filing which could be seen as wins for Etsy sellers:
- Etsy plans to offer “high-impact seller services.” In other words, Etsy intends to improve upon its existing seller services and introduce new ones that will allow Etsy sellers to spend more time focusing on their craft and less time on all the administrative aspects of the business.
- The company also plans to increase its marketing spend on traditional and online media to increase awareness of its brand and hopefully attract new members (which ultimately means more potential buyers).
Check out our online marketplaces page for more news on Etsy.