Handmade goes big: Etsy nears $1B in sales
Etsy, Brooklyn's e-commerce powerhouse, isn't slowing down. The company, which will turn eight this year, had merchandise sales of $895 million in 2012, a 70% spike over 2011, according to Chief Executive Chad Dickerson, who announced the results in a blog post Monday. Etsy also nearly doubled its community of sellers, adding 10 million members last year for a total of 22 million in more than 200 countries. Calling 2012 "a breakthrough year," Mr. Dickerson said the growth reflected increased investment in marketing, which included spending more than a quarter of a million dollars on Google's product listing ads and opening an Etsy popup shop in SoHo in December. The Dumbo-based company, which provides an online storefront for the sale of handmade and vintage goods, has also been focused on mobile growth and international expansion. "All of these factors added up to more shoppers coming to Etsy than ever before; in fact, new buyers increased by 83% in the last year," Mr. Dickerson wrote. Etsy, which has been profitable since 2009 , takes a 3.5% commission on sales and charges 20 cents for each item's listing. It has raised $91.7 million in funding since its founding in 2005. Last week, the company announced the appointment of Kristina Salen, a longtime Fidelity telecommunications funds manager, as its first chief revenue officer—a move that renewed speculation that Etsy would be heading for an IPO. In an interview last week with pandodaily.com , Mr. Dickerson said there were many ways Etsy could finance its continued expansion, and an IPO was only one of them. "I want Etsy to be an independent company for as long as it can be independent," he said. Among other results from 2012, jewelry remained the biggest seller, while furniture was the fastest growing category, with sales up 134% over the prior year.
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