Online Artist Marketplace Etsy Files For $100 Million IPO

Etsy, the website where artists can sell their creations to the public, decided to launch itself into the stock market by filing for an initial public offering.

The company, which will be trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the stock symbol ETSY, filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO, Etsy announced Wednesday.

While the company isn’t sure how many shares it will be offering the public or how much it will be charging, Etsy has decided to reserve some shares for private investors. Morgan Stanley will administer the program and, in order to participate, users must open a account with the investment company.

Etsy, founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, is the online marketplace where 1.4 million creative entrepreneurs sold $1.93 billion in products last year to 19.8 million buyers, according to the company’s website.

Etsy, valued at $1.7 billion according to a regulatory filing, is trying to raise $100 million through its stock offering, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Etsy makes money by charging transaction fees as well services.

During the 10 years since its inception, Etsy has grown from a small artists website selling handmade goods and operated out of a Brooklyn apartment into a huge company selling manufactured goods.

Then, the creation of Etsy Wholesale allowed small boutique retailers to interact with wholesalers, according to the Inquisitr.

Etsy’s makeup has also changed. Initially most, if not all, of Etsy’s income came from its marketplace, but now the company makes 43 percent of its income from seller services, according to the Huffington Post. Seller services are things like promoted listings, ads and logistics support.

Some critics are worried Etsy’s evolution means the site has lost its creative soul. The company seemed to echo these concerns by noting the importance of the authenticity of its marketplace in its public filing.

The precise details of Etsy’s public offering are still up in the air.

“Most of the time, we’ll have to say ‘no comment’ to your questions, and I understand that may not be satisfying,” Etsy said in a statement. “I appreciate your patience with us during this process and we will share more information when we can.”

Goldman, Sachs & Co. along with Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC will be joint book running managers, while Allen & Company has been hired as co-manager for the company’s proposed offering, according to an Etsy statement.