Why Etsy Is Not Going Public Anytime Soon

By Devon Glenn 

Etsy may be going global, but that doesn’t mean the company is ready to go public. In an interview with WSJ’s Deal Journal Australia blog, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson explained the company’s strategy after raising $40 million to expand the online craft marketplace based in Brooklyn, NY into Australia and other new markets.

“Etsy’s definitely the kind of company that can go public,” Dickerson told WSJ‘s Gillian Tan. In May 2012, Etsy reported 15 million members and 875,000 sellers in more than 150 countries. In 2011, the company’s network of artists and small shopkeepers grossed more than $525 million in sales from their Etsy stores.

“We’ve been breakeven since 2009 and our revenues are really strong,” Dickerson added. “I think it’s important to remain an independent, private company as long as we can in order to be able make better long-term decisions.”

Etsy company recently became a certified B Corporation, a designation aimed at socially and environmentally responsible business practices that’s vetted by the nonprofit organization B Lab in “the same way TransFair certifies Fair Trade coffee or USGBC certifies LEED buildings,” according to the organization’s website.

Considering Facebook’s difficulty on the stock market, it’s probably wise to keep Etsy, a niche site with a vastly different business model than Facebook’s, away from the same kind of wild speculation and technical glitches that are now sending angry investors to court.

Right now, the company will focus on making more tools for sellers, like the new Etsy iPhone app that helps sellers keep track of their sales remotely. In the interview, Dickerson hinted at a wholesale market for sellers as well.

Though the company is moving into France and Germany, the platform is especially popular in English-speaking countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia. Etsy is setting up a satellite office in Melbourne, Australia, an urban destination for creative people that reminded Dickerson of Brooklyn. “I believe to build a really great community-based business,” he said, “you have to have a really great community-based company culture.”

Read the rest of the WSJ interview here.

Image by Rufous via Shutterstock.