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Etsy's massive IPO puts big money behind small sellers

Billy Steele
April 16, 2015
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Selling handmade stuff on the internet is big business, and Etsy's IPO shows just that. The online marketplace completed its initial public offering today, raising over $270 million towards a total valuation of more than $3.5 billion -- not too shabby for a company that's not yet profitable. If you're not familiar, Etsy offers folks who deal in "handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies" a place to sell their goods online. Sure, the site takes a cut, and it generates revenue from ads, shipping and payment processing. What's more, it has attracted 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers (as of December) in its 10 years handling those sales. The company was clear about its history of losses when it first announced plans to go public, admitting that it may never turn a profit. However, as the popularity of handmade and unique wares continues to grow, eager sellers are likely to opt for the site's community as a means for promotion as much as its e-commerce tools. It's also poised to make a big splash in mobile, recently hiring one of Pandora's top executives to lead that charge.

[Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

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