Its shares debuted this morning on the Nasdaq far above the offering price of $16 a share, reaching an intra-day high of $35.50 a share.
The pop in stock price shows that, despite concerns, Wall Street is happy to invest in this well-established online marketplace.
Etsy seemed to take a slightly different path to investment, as CEO Chad Dickerson outlined in a blog post. He says that while the company allocated 15 percent of share to investors and nearly 15 percent of shares to individual investors, Etsy went about it differently than the average company.
We met with retail brokers in Paramus, NJ, Red Bank, NJ, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Orland Park, IL (just outside Chicago) on the road show. We also reserved a portion of the individual investor shares for an IPO participation program with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. So that as many individuals as possible were able to participate, we capped the IPO participation program at $2,500 per person. For the first time in Etsy’s history, we were able to offer members of our community an opportunity to own a piece of Etsy.
Etsy’s IPO is far from usual and represents the company’s model of “creating a collective good through goods.” Throughout the process of becoming a public company, Etsy has maintained a commitment to its community of merchants, which seemed to put off some on Wall Street. But Dickerson says he doesn’t think that shareholder obligation interferes with Etsy’s relationship to its sellers:
We understand the concern, but reject the premise that there is a choice to make between the two. Etsy’s strength as a business and community comes from its uniqueness in the world and we intend to preserve it. We don’t believe that people and profit are mutually exclusive.
If today’s public offering is any indication, it seems that investors are willing to work with a company that has more than the bottom line in mind — even if, like Etsy, it still isn’t profitable.