Five things we learned about Etsy from its IPO filing

Most of its members in the U.S. are women, and many consider their stores a business

Etsy's site connects buyers with sellers offering handmade goods in countries around the world.

Etsy's site connects buyers with sellers offering handmade goods in countries around the world.

Etsy, the online marketplace for buying and selling handmade goods and crafts, disclosed some interesting tidbits about the company's business when it filed to go public Wednesday.

Did you know that 86 percent of Etsy's U.S. sellers at the end of last year were women? Or that three-quarters of its sellers consider their online store a business rather than a hobby?

Etsy is hoping to raise US$100 million from the offering to help expand its business. Here are five other things we learned from combing through its S-1 filing.

1. International appeal

Etsy had 54 million members at the end of last year. Of those, it had 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers, where "active" means they bought or sold something in the last year. They're located in nearly every country of the world; Etsy's marketplace is available in 10 languages.

2. Revenue is booming, but there are no profits

Etsy generated revenue of $196 million last year, up 56 percent from 2013. It makes much of that money from fees it collects on items sold and services such as promoted placement of goods.

The company has been losing money, though. It lost $15.2 million last year, much more than its loss of $796,000 in 2013. The year before that it lost $2.39 million.

It expects operating expenses to increase "substantially" as it hires more employees, increases marketing and invests in new services. Which segues into...

3. Rising product development costs

Etsy's costs in this area grew from $436,000 in 2012 to $785,000 in 2013 and $1.46 million in 2014. In addition to its desktop site, Etsy built mobile apps for iOS and Android that include search, curation and social features.

4. Rapid headcount growth

Etsy almost tripled its employee count between 2011 and 2014, from 251 to 685.

5. Do-gooder values

In January it formed Etsy.org, a nonprofit that builds education programs to "reimagine how and to whom business is taught." It will focus on educating women and other groups under-represented in entrepreneurial activity. The company expects to use $300,000 of the proceeds from its IPO to help fund Etsy.org.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social mediainternetsocial networkinge-commerceInternet-based applications and servicesEtsy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?