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Etsy completes IPO; valued close to $4 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Etsy Inc., the online marketplace for handmade arts, crafts and clothing, has gone public with a bang. Shares opened on Thursday at $31 a share, almost twice their initial public offering price. As of April 16, Etsy is trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “ETSY.”

After the offering, the total number of shares outstanding will be 110.9 million. Based on the opening price, Etsy is valued at over $3.7 billion.

Etsy is a certified Benefit Corporation (or B Corp), one of a growing number of companies that pledge to adhere to social and environmental accountability guidelines set by a nonprofit organization called B Lab.

“As we’ve grown, Etsy has become a touchpoint of debate for larger issues, including whether the human-centered craftsmanship that we exist to support is compatible with being a public company, which requires a new set of responsibilities to shareholders,” Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy, said in a blog post. “We understand the concern, but reject the premise that there is a choice to make between the two. Etsy’s strength as a business and community comes from its uniqueness in the world and we intend to preserve it. We don’t believe that people and profit are mutually exclusive.”

The nearly 10-year-old company makes its revenue through commissions and listing fees that it chargers to sellers, as well as other services.

Etsy reported $195.6 million in revenue in 2014, up about 55% from 2013, with nearly 20 million buyers making a purchase on its site. It reported losses of $15.2 million in 2014.

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