In Brief: Etsy Raises $20 Million, Kikkoman’s Solar-Powered Soy Sauce


  • Etsy, the craftacular online marketplace that is featured in the Cooper-Hewitt’s current National Design Triennial, has raised another $20 million from investors. This, the company’s fifth round of funding, was led by London-based Index Ventures. With 5 million members and 125 employees, Etsy is in the midst of its first profitable year, according to founder and CEO Rob Kalin. “The two biggest costs running Etsy are our servers and our employees,” he wrote Friday on the company’s “handmade” blog. “We want to make sure we can secure the best of both, and this investment helps us here.” Meanwhile, Adam Freed has just joined Etsy as chief operating officer. A veteran of Google, Freed is also the owner/guardian of Hank, a dog that bears a striking resemblance to a Muppet. We smell an Etsy store opportunity!
  • In other crafty business news, Kikkoman has seen the light. The soy sauce specialist is going smartly sustainable by installing solar panels on its Folsom, California factory. The new photovoltaic system will be up and running by late September. It will not only significantly reduce the need for fossil fuel-based electricity to power production but also allow the company to sell solar electricity back to the grid when the facility is not in operation. Installed as a fixed carport over the company parking lot, Kikkoman’s solar system will have the added benefit of shading cars from the Caifornia sun.