Etsy brings homespun flair to buoyant Wall Street debut

The online artisanal juggernaut is taking all the suits on Wall Street by storm.


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After years of waiting and weeks in the making, Etsy's first day as a publicly traded company appears to have been a smashing success.

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Shares for the online vintage and handmade crafts marketplace started trading at $31 a pop at the opening bell on Thursday morning, roughly 93 percent above the final estimate of $16 per share revealed the previous evening.

After a roadshow that took off at the end of March, that final price estimate before trading put Etsy's valuation of approximately $1.8 billion.

The opening stock price nudged that valuation even higher to $3.5 billion. Shares settled around just over $30 per share after the closing bell.

Selling more than 16.7 million shares, the offering is expected to close on Tuesday, April 21.

Following its debut on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "ETSY," the Brooklyn-based company moved the festivities uptown to Times Square, hosting a showcase of some of its top and most eye-catching sellers from around the world.

Some of the merchandise on display included eco-friendly children's clothing inspired by Russian fairy tales from a seller in Montreal, "whimsically designed" garb from a designer in France's Loire Valley, and painted wood peg dolls and cake toppers created with the help of four Colombian artisans out of an establishment in Etsy's own home borough.

Despite launching roughly a decade ago, Etsy's IPO journey has been a whirlwind since filing its S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at the beginning of March.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. were tapped as underwriters.

The company once known as "Indieco, Inc." has stressed its business strategy is rooted in community and customer service since launching in 2005.

"Etsy isn't just about the products being sold on Etsy," wrote Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson noted in a blog post on Thursday. "The Etsy mission to reimagine commerce is really about people, and forging connections between them."

In an effort to demonstrate both the financial and sentimental value of those goods, Dickerson noted that he and Etsy chief financial officer Kristina Salem wore clothes and accessories from Etsy at every stop along the IPO roadshow.

Etsy has also responded to some more mobile and e-commerce trends (not to mention competitors) last fall with what resembled a Square-like dongle for offline credit card payments.

As for that community, Etsy counted approximately 54 million members, including 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers, as of December 31, 2014.

Image via Etsy