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Handmade goods website company Etsy valued at US$3.88b in debut

[NEW YORK] Shares of Etsy Inc, an online marketplace for handmade goods and craft supplies, more than doubled in their debut on Thursday, valuing the company at about US$3.88 billion.

The company's initial public offering of about 16.7 million shares raised about US$267 million, after it was priced at the top end of the expected range of US$14-US$16.

New York-based Etsy sold 13.3 million shares in the offering, while stockholders including venture capital firms Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures and Acton Capital sold the rest.

Founded in 2005 by Robert Kalin, Etsy has grown from a website selling just wooden goods to an online community where crafters and artists offer handmade and vintage goods.

Etsy, which has 29 million items listed on its website, offers jewelry, stationery, clothing, home goods, craft supplies and vintage items.

The company's revenue comes from listing fees and commissions on sales as well as from its advertising platform, payment processing and shipping services.

Etsy, whose larger rivals include Amazon.com Inc, eBay Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, had 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers as of December.

The global online retail market is expected to grow about 17 per cent to US$1.5 trillion between 2013 and 2018, according to consumer market research firm Euromonitor.

Etsy's revenue rose 56 per cent to US$195.6 million in the year ended Dec 31. The company's net loss widened to US$15.2 million from US$796,000 a year earlier.

Etsy's shares were up 115 per cent at US$34.48 in late morning trading.

The stock, which was the top percentage gainer on the Nasdaq, opened at US$31 and touched a high of US$35.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co LLC were underwriters to the IPO.

REUTERS