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Etsy Is Curating A Small Batch of Its IPO

Aww, that's so cute.

Remember when we were worried about Etsy's post-IPO soul?

Good news guys, we only have to worry about 85% of it, because Etsy is making strong moves to keep it real.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods has altered the playbook for its initial public offering, launching an expansive effort to attract small investors and focusing on fewer big investors, according to people familiar with the deal.
The custom-made process is intended to build a shareholder base that is on board with what Etsy says is its commitment to socially responsible business practices and its plans to spend heavily on marketing to grow its membership over the next few years, the people said.

So if you want to invest in Brooklyn's favorite startup that doesn't really make anything, you got to be on board with the "making the world a better pace" vibe that Etsy is throwing down.

That means no kvetching about how Etsy overpays its talent, or gives them 40 paid hours off a year to volunteer, or registers as a B Corporation making it compulsory to just give money away to widows and orphans.

But this means Etsy is going to have to get real DUMBO about this and handcraft its selected investor group by hewing out the most altruistic and tolerant of private equity dollars?

Where will Etsy find these organic, free-range investors, you ask?

Cleveland, of course.

Of the roughly 15% that is likely to be sold to small investors, 5% will be sold online via Morgan Stanley. Investors can offer to buy between $100 to $2,500 in Etsy shares, which will be allocated based on pricing and demand in the IPO, according to Morgan Stanley’s website.
For the other 10%, Etsy Chief Executive Chad Dickerson and Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen traveled to regional Morgan Stanley brokerage offices to pitch the offering to small investors and Etsy vendors, the people familiar said. Cities they visited included Cleveland and Rockford, Ill., which aren’t usually on the IPO roadshow map.

To find the good stuff, you've got to get off the old school IPO roadshow route and find your own path. Every hipster crafty CFO knows that, man.

But, wait. Only 15% of the total IPO is being curated?

Etsy’s public debut will retain many of the features of a traditional IPO. Roughly 85% of its shares are likely to be sold to institutional investors such as mutual funds and hedge funds, according to people familiar with the deal. And it will be priced with an eye toward delivering a sizable “pop” to investors when it begins trading, the people added.

Oh, 85% of Etsy's almost $2 billion IPO is going to be a run-of-the-mill Goldman-led deal?

Then, never mind.

Even Etsy’s Initial Public Offering Process Is Artisanal [WSJ]


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