Etsy, the anti-eBay shopping site for handcrafted goods, raised $27 million in a series D round. It previously raised a total of $4.6 million from Union Square Ventures and angels Caterina Fake, Stewart Butterfield, Joshua Schachter, and Albert Wenger. Union Square Ventures invested again in this round, as did new investor Acel Partners. Accel partner Jim Breyer will take a seat on Etsy’s board (he is also a board member of Facebook). Fake, a founder of Flickr with her husband Butterfield, and Union Square’s Fred Wilson are existing board members. Since launching in June, 2005, Etsy now has 650,000 members, 120,000 of which are craft sellers, in 127 different countries. The Brooklyn-based startup employs 50 people.
Etsy founder Rob Kalin says in a blog post:
This means that we now have the resources to extend Etsy’s reach in this world, to enable so many more people to make a living making things. We want Etsy to exist for hundreds of years. Our goal is for Etsy to be an independent, publicly traded company, focused on all things handmade.
He says that Etsy is “almost break-even” on profits, but he plans on using the money to:
—Buy $5 million worth of hardware and hosting over the next two years.
—Support more currencies and languages other than the U.S. Dollar and English.
—Fix the checkout system (there is none now, every buyer has to pay every seller on an individual basis. There is no Etsy payment system that works across all sellers).
—Provide a cushion in case of a recession.
—Offer customer service
—Provide competitive wages and take care of his employees.
In other words, Etsy is growing up. And it needs cash to do so. The site reached 1 million unique visitors in the U.S. last month, according to comScore (1.6 million worldwide), doubling from last April.
Update: the word on the street is that etsy was valued at $90 million pre money in this round. wow.