Cottage industry heads for the big time with US listing


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The Independent Online

The online crafts fair Etsy is looking to list on the US Nasdaq exchange in a move that could value it at $2bn (£1.3bn).

The company – started 10 years ago in an apartment in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighbourhood to provide a place for people to sell home-made goods – now has offices from London to Melbourne. It caters for more than 1.4 million sellers worldwide who offer goods ranging from crafts and furniture to vintage clothing.

However, moves in recent years to attract more corporate sellers have alienated some of Etsy’s original community, and news of its listing plans yesterday sparked heated debate among crafters online, with some questioning whether  it is selling out.

The company has transformed itself over the past few years. Its founder is no longer involved and it brought in a former Yahoo executive, Chad Dickerson, as chief executive seven years ago.

In the initial public offering paperwork, which it filed overnight, Etsy said that revenues in 2014 were $195.6m, up from $125m in the previous year, even though its net losses worsened substantially to $15m.