Etsy IPO: Online marketplace doubles in value on stock market debut

Michael Bow
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Etsy chief Chad Dickerson and finance chief Kristina Salen celebrated the rise
Quirky online marketplace Etsy soared on its stock market debut yesterday, with shares popping from their listing price of $16 to a high of $34 a share, underscoring the ongoing love affair by investors for US tech stocks.

The company, which allows vendors to sell handmade items, antiques and artisan craft products, priced shares at the top end of a $14-$16 range on Wednesday evening, giving the corporation a valuation of $1.78bn (£1.19bn).

After yesterday’s debut the group is now worth $4bn. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co worked on the listing.

The company was founded in a loft apartment in Brooklyn, New York in 2005 by two university graduates Robert Kalin and Chris Maguire, who wanted to sell a wooden computer they had built.

The company now has 1.4m people selling products on the site and nearly 20m buyers.

The group reported a 56 per cent rise in revenues last year to $195.6m, however its net loss jumped to $15.2m from $796,000.

Etsy is registered as a so-called benefit corporation, or B-Corp, a new breed of company in the US which puts social and environment concerns on par with shareholder returns.

Around 1,000 B-Corps are registered in the US, but Etsy is the first to go public.

The company sold just over 13m shares in the listing yesterday, with venture capital backers such as Index Ventures and Acton Capital selling a further slug of stock.

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