Etsy is making a buzz this week following rumors that it will go public. If true, the initial public offering (IPO) would look to raise $300 million – more than any other New York tech startup has raised since the Dot Com Era. While most news channels have speculated on the significance of this move for New York tech companies, Etsy sellers are wondering something else: What would Etsy’s IPO mean for them?
Etsy has made a name for itself by providing artisans with an online marketplace on which to sell their handmade goods. Artists, welders, knitters, crafters, jewelry makers and others have come to call Etsy their home. Since 2005, the platform has grown to more than 53.9 million members hosting a total of 26 million items – and it’s only getting bigger.
If an IPO is in the works, then Etsy and its sellers are about to get much more publicity. As Jennifer Bedell of Jeannies Pet Corner told Etsy-preneurship: “I am hopeful that this [IPO] will bring more traffic to the site, and more sales for us Etsy sellers…”
Perhaps the biggest concern stemming from a potential IPO is how Etsy may reorganize its business in order to appease shareholders.
Currently, Etsy charges sellers 20 cents to list their products and a 3.5 percent commission fee from each sale. In return, Etsy sellers receive a platform for marketing their unique products to new audiences, and a community to support their growth.
However, if Etsy does indeed go public, Etsy sellers worry that these fees may rise in order to generate more profit for shareholders.
Etsy’s IPO would come on the heels of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba’s record $25 billion public offering last September. Just more proof that the ecommerce industry is indeed booming.
One thing is certain: we’ll have to wait to learn more from Etsy. The online marketplace has neither confirmed nor denied that an IPO is in fact underway. Stay tuned to learn more.
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