Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson announced the news that many were expecting - "we filed to go public today," he titled his announcement on the Etsy boards.
Dickerson shared few details, however, explaining that the SEC required a "quiet period" that would prevent him and other employees about the filing. "Most of the time, we'll have to say "no comment" to your questions, and I understand that may not be satisfying," he wrote.
"I appreciate your patience with us during this process, and we will share more information when we can."
In its press release, Etsy interestingly called itself both an online and offline marketplace "where people around the world connect to make, sell and buy unique goods."
In addressing the rumors of an IPO ten months ago, Dickerson told the Associated Press it wasn't out of the question, but said, "We think it's really important to continue to serve our community and we think independence really matters. We're not the traditional Silicon Valley type of company, where we just have this bloodthirst to go public, but it's definitely a possible outcome."
It's hard to imagine what founder and former head of Etsy Rob Kalin is thinking, but he's likely to share in the wealth the initial public offering will spawn among the founders, investors, executives and employees. Kalin was believed to have been forced out by the board of directors when he left in 2011 after making a series of controversial moves.
When Google went public, it distributed shares in an auction designed to give the general public a better chance to buy stock before shares begin trading versus being restricted to an elite group picked by investment bankers handling the deal.
eBay was said to have initially led users to believe they might share in its IPO, but that was quashed when it filed in 1998.
We'll review Etsy's filing, but there's unlikely to be any special provisions for users. Scratch that - it states in the press release:
Etsy plans to reserve a portion of the shares to be sold in the offering through an IPO participation program for individual purchasers. The program will be administered by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. Go to etsyipo.morganstanley.com for more information.
It does not have any provision for users to participate as such, but sets aside shares for individuals - see the MorganStanley.com
page referenced (unfortunately there's little information on how it will work.)
The Wall Street Journal
noted, "Etsy, which started in a Fort Greene apartment, is considered among the handful of New York-born companies perceived to have what it takes to make it big."
We'll have more on reaction to this development, in the meantime, share your thoughts. Will Etsy change, and if so, how and why? Can Etsy retain its handmade persona while "making it big"?