Crafts marketplace Etsy wants to make $100 million with IPO

The Twitter response to Etsy's IPO reflects the cozy, handmade goods hawked on the site: pleasant surprise and relief.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Only three months in, and tech IPOs are all but booming in 2015.

Online crafts marketplace Etsy is the latest tech wunderkind to map its path to Wall Street.

Although geographically-speaking, the Brooklyn-based startup won't have to go far to ring the bell when it begins trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol, "ETSY."

Etsy plans to raise at least $100 million for its initial public offering, according to its S-1 filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late on Wednesday.

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

While many recent tech companies have caught flack for some financial figures (or flops) revealed on S-1 paperwork, the Twitter response to Etsy's IPO is somewhat of a reflection of the cozy, handmade goods hawked on the site: pleasant surprise and relief.

Nevertheless, the company once known as "Indieco, Inc." does have a bit of a ways to go before swapping the red for the black.

For example, in 2014, Etsy reported a loss of 19 cents a share on revenue of $195.6 million.

But Etsy didn't have to report everything right away because -- much like Box and Twitter among other rising tech stars -- it filed as an "emerging growth company" under the Jumpstart Our Businesses (JOBS) Act, which stipulates a company seeking to go public can file confidentially if it is valued at less than $1 billion.


Still, Etsy asserted it has had firm business strategy rooted in community and customer service since launching in 2005.

As noted in the S-1:

We operate at the center of several converging macroeconomic trends in online and mobile commerce, employment, consumption and manufacturing. We believe that in combination these trends will benefit millions of people in our ecosystem around the world: Etsy sellers engaging in their creative passion, working for themselves and defining success on their own terms; Etsy buyers accessing a diverse, global marketplace of goods that have historically been found in highly fragmented markets; and, increasingly, responsible manufacturers using modern tools to craft goods in partnership with Etsy sellers.

Etsy 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.

Images via Etsy/U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

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