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Etsy — the marketplace for hand-painters of flower-pots and carvers of toy boats made from driftwood — has engaged the artisan craftspeople at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to run its initial public offering. This round of financing could bring in $100 million.
As required by the Securities and Exchange Commission for any public offering, Etsy has disclosed risk factors. However, most companies don’t list “losing our soul” as a risk factor.
“If we are unable to maintain the authenticity of our marketplace, our reputation and business could be adversely affected,” reads Etsy’s filing.
In fact, there has already been grumbling along these lines. In late 2013, Etsy relaxed its terms of service, allowing people to sell stuff that wasn’t actually handmade.
Since allowing users to sell manufactured goods, Etsy’s business has boomed. The company went from $125 million in revenue for 2013 to $195 million the next year.
But, despite that revenue, Etsy did lose $15 million in 2014.
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