Etsy Inc. is about to show Silicon Valley that Brooklyn’s hipsters can also do initial public offerings.
The website where people sell handmade crafts and vintage goods may be the biggest technology IPO to come out of New York since 1999. Etsy, which offers items such as a $529 turquoise 1957 Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter, is working on an IPO that could take place as soon as this quarter, people familiar with the matter said. The company is looking to raise $300 million, one person said.
The deal could mark a turning point for New York’s tech-startup scene, where dozens of IPOs — from ad-tech company AppNexus Inc. to shopping site Gilt Groupe Inc. — are anticipated and have yet to materialize. The last time a technology company from New York raised more than $300 million, the dot-com bubble was fueling IPOs from online broker TD Waterhouse Group Inc. and Barnesandnoble.com Inc., the Web spinoff of the bookstore chain.
Etsy, based in Brooklyn, New York’s Dumbo neighborhood, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley on the IPO, said the people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
While Silicon Valley startups often pride themselves on high-tech, the idea for Etsy came from a computer made of wood. Rob Kalin, a painter, carpenter and photographer, founded Etsy in 2005 after failing to find a place to sell his hand-built computers. The company now has about 26 million items listed on its site — including a stuffed toy robot and a crown made of roses.
Etsy charges 20 cents for sellers to list products, and takes a 3.5 percent commission from each item sold. The company also generates revenue from advertising and payment processing and posted$1.35 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2013, according to its website. Etsy is likely to release a prospectus for the IPO this month with more financial details, according to the people familiar with the situation.
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