Grand St., a service once described as an Etsy for electronics, is now actually a part of Etsy, the companies confirm. The deal was announced today on Grand St.’s official blog and on Etsy’s site (via Fortune) where Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson explained the two companies’ overlapping vision. He says both were focused on the way “making was changing,” in a time when shoppers are more interested in “unique and innovative goods.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Grand St. had previously raised $1.3 million in seed funding from First Round Capital, David Tisch, Gary Vaynerchuk, betaworks, Collaborative Fund, MESA+, Quotidian Ventures, and Undercurrent.
As we’ve seen here at Etsy, shoppers are increasingly interested in unique and innovative goods, especially when they know and can be involved in the story behind the product. At the same time, it’s becoming easier than ever for independent makers and designers to bring ideas to market and find a global audience. Grand St. gets this — that’s why we’re such a good fit.
Grand St., for background, offers a showcase for creative and small-batch technology, with a different product featured on its site every day. The idea was to highlight the sorts of great products that could otherwise be buried on the wider Internet and various crowdfunding sites, by promoting products that consumers could pre-order or try while still in “beta.”
This allowed companies to get direct feedback from consumers early in the development cycle, while products were still evolving. In addition, it also offered a layer of curation overtop the now numerous small batch product offerings you can find across the web, by making sure the products Grand St. touted were functional and shipping.
Etsy tells us that all eight Grand St. employees, including co-founders Amanda Peyton, Joe Lallouz and Aaron Henshaw, will join Etsy as of next week. And, for now at least, Grand St. will continue to operate its own marketplace.
Etsy wants to “learn more from [Grand St.'s] interesting experiments with product development, production and commerce,” we’re told.
“With more than 200,000 members and hundreds of makers and products, Grand St. has harnessed a wave of innovation happening outside the mainstream consumer electronics industry by connecting independent hardware makers with passionate buyers,” an Etsy spokesperson stated.
“Etsy has always had an electronics community, and Grand St. has taken novel approaches to their needs — like pre-orders and beta — from which Etsy can learn.”
While Etsy may have an electronics community today, it’s fair to say that the company is better known as a haven for artists and crafters, rather than electronics-focused makers. The Grand St. deal could change that, allowing Etsy to expand into this area further while it gains a better understanding of how the maker community ticks.
Below is the official Grand St. blog post announcing the deal:
To everyone in the Grand St. Community –
Today we are announcing that Grand St. has agreed to be acquired by Etsy.
As you may know, Etsy is an amazing company for handmade goods and a true pioneer in both marketplace development and the maker movement. We have always admired them from afar, especially their dedication to craft and their commitment to their B Corp certification.
While this is a big step for us as a company, we plan to change very little about the site and your experience of Grand St. in the near term. We exist to bring you the best in indie electronics from designers and makers all over the world, and we’ll continue to do that at grandst.com. We will continue to launch new features and have a few coming out soon that we think you’ll love.
Simply put: the rise of the individual, small-batch maker is changing product development, production and commerce. The process of making physical goods is shifting as consumers are more interested in unique and personalized products. This leads to a greater variety of products, and a fulfilling path to growth for creators. Etsy knows this and everything they do is designed to welcome this shift and embrace it.
We are very excited to be part of a company with such overlapping values, where we’ll have a chance to accelerate our mission of helping independent makers grow and scale. Thank you for your continued support, we really appreciate it.
XOXO Amanda, Aaron, and Joe