In its first day of trading, Etsy has proved that it can make good on the stock market. Shares in the online crafts marketplace rose 86 percent above their initial offering price Thursday.
The Brooklyn, NY-based companyon Wednesday, at the high end of the expected price range of $14 to $16. This price gave Etsy a valuation of $1.8 billion when it began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange this morning, under the ticker symbol "ETSY." Shares opened at $31 apiece and by early afternoon were up as high as $35 each. At market close, the price was $30 per share.
Ten-year-old Etsy is the latest of a host of tech businesses that have gone public in the past year -- joining Chinese e-tailer, data-storage service , rugged-camera maker and Web-hosting service .
Etsy has made its business around connecting buyers and sellers of arts and crafts. Items sold on its website range from handmade jewelry to crocheted wool booties to antique mother of pearl silverware. Etsy gets its revenue from listing-fees and from commissions on items for sale.
"As we talked with investors, it was crystal clear that they were interested in speaking with us about Etsy because of our distinctiveness as a business and a community," Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson wrote in a blog post Thursday. "The questions we got were quite often focused on our plans to preserve what makes Etsy special as we grow."
The site currently has 54 million members, 1.4 million sellers and 19.8 million buyers, according to a filing last month with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Etsy reported a net loss of $15.2 million on $196 million in revenue last year, a 56 percent increase over the previous year, according to last month's company filing. It also recorded $1.93 billion in gross merchandise sales last year.
Etsy said it would use the proceeds of the IPO for working capital and corporate investments, including marketing to attract new members, developing localized services and developing relationships with third-party service providers. Its IPO was led by Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co.