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E-Tailer Etsy’s Unique Marketplace

Posted on Thursday, Sep 11th 2014

The online marketplace is not only an easy place to find run of the mill stuff, but with vendors like Etsy around, buyers can also scout for one-of-a-kind products with ease. Founded in 2005, DUMBO, Brooklyn-based Etsy, is a leading e-tailer in handmade and vintage products. Here is a quick view into their rapid growth.

Etsy’s Offerings
Etsy call themselves a marketplace that lets people around the world connect with each other to buy and sell unique goods. The site focuses on handmade and vintage items such as art, clothing, home décor products, accessories, toys, and even food products along with selling art and craft supplies. Etsy is like an online craft fair where individual sellers have their personal storefronts to list goods for sale. Buyers can buy inexpensive products such as $2.50 for a pair of earrings to high-end furniture and art pieces.

Sine their launch in 2005, Etsy has grown to 40 million members who access more than 1 million active shops and has registered over 26 million sales. The company has expanded internationally and now has its digital presence in 200 countries along with offices in Berlin, London, Dublin, and Toronto.

Etsy’s Growth Plan
Etsy has recently expanded into wholesale operations and plans to allow sellers to sell their goods directly to other retailers such as Nordstrom and West Elm. The Beta launch of Etsy Wholesale was released earlier last month. Sellers will need to pay a $100 sign up fee for the Wholesale listing along with the usual transaction fee on orders received through Etsy.

Earlier this year, Etsy also announced the acquisition of creative gadget shop Grand St. for an undisclosed sum. Grand St. is a curated marketplace for independent hardware makers that lets them sell their unique products to buyers outside the mainstream consumer electronics industry. The acquisition will help add to the unique product listings on Etsy.

In June this year, Etsy also announced the acquisition of A Little Market, a France-based online marketplace for handmade goods. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will help Etsy expand their international operations.

Etsy’s Financials
Etsy earns revenues by charging the sellers a 3.5% transaction fees on all sales made through the site and an additional $0.20 for product listing. The company does not disclose its financials, but they did disclose that last year, the site saw goods sold double to $1.3 billion. That translates to $45.5 million in transaction fee revenue alone last year. Unlike other e-commerce sites, Etsy has also managed to remain profitable. In fact, they have been profitable since 2009.

Etsy remains venture funded with $97 million in investment from investors including Glynn Capital Management, Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Acton Capital Partners, Hubert Burda Media, Manatt Venture Fund, Caterina Fake, Stewart Butterfield, Joshua Schachter, Albert Wenger, Spencer Ain, Judson Ain, and Sean Meenan. Their latest round of funding was held in May 2014 when they raised $5.6 million at an undisclosed valuation. They have not committed themselves to an IPO, but are open to the idea.

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