Artists of every kind have become accustomed to using the Etsy marketplace to sell their handmade goods and crafts; well now it appears that Etsy.com has filed for an initial public offering. Etsy launched in 2005 and has been growing sales prodigiously but is still unprofitable, according to the company’s IPO filing. In 2014 their gross merchandise sales went up 43% to $1.93 billion from $1.35 billion in 2013. Etsy has taken the initiative with sales like this to file that initial public offering. They are hoping to raise about $100 million in new working capital.
Etsy’s business is getting larger and more varied daily attracting buyers and sellers out the whazoo, and let’s not forget all that mobile. We can’t really say for sure the exact numbers but their mobile traffic accounted for 53.2% of all traffic in 2014 compared with 41.3% in 2013. In their filling they claim “We launched our first mobile app in 2011, and we continue to enhance our mobile offering,” Some interesting stats we can share says 89% of its sellers are female, and that their overseas business is growing. International sales accounted for 30.9%, equivalent to $596.4 million in gross sales over $383.4 the previous year.
In that $100 million they want to raise, Etsy says 300k of it is being allocated to fund Etsy.org, a Delaware non-profit organization Etsy formed in January “to educate women and other entrepreneurial groups on how to build a lasting business”.
At 10 year of age the online marketplace of all things crafty, vintage and handmade is plotting future endeavors. They have 1.4 million active sellers who sell to 54 million members generated $2 billion in sales last year. Chad Dickerson, the man in charge calls what is happening “the Etsy Economy”, value over price.
Etsy has been receiving lots of lip about the fact that some sellers feel they have somewhat abandoned their initial mission of providing a platform for craftspeople to move their goods. In October of 2013, Etsy allowed sellers with staff, or outsourced manufacturing to sell on Etsy. They says these are elements that must be allowed to exist if mom and pop shows want to grow. Unfortunately the purists feel this move away from the “essence” of the thing, meaning handmade. Etsy says it has teams and processes in place to monitor compliance with its policies and investigates shops in violation.
At the end of the day Etsy has bootstrapped a great number of individual’s careers, a lot of them women making the kind of money I would like to be making. Anyone looking to move some handmade stuff, get on board, anyone else looking for a media business that’s growing like weeds, see what jobs at Etsy are open. I just like that they’re in Brooklyn.