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Startup Show-n-Tell: Marketplaces

Mike Preuss - April 17, 2015

#Startup Stories

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As a distributed company with team members living and working across the world, we’ve taken to Slack to stay in touch to handle some aspects of just about every mission critical business process. One of those processes is sharing interesting business tactics, thought provoking posts, and general randomness that we come across on a day to day basis. Each week, we collect some of the things that got us talking here in our Startup Show-N-Tell post.

This week, we took in interest in everything surrounding the Etsy IPO, specifically in what lessons can be learned from the company’s growth as a marketplace business. Although Visible is not a pure marketplace like Etsy, our business model does display some marketplace traits.

Etsy

Founded 10 years ago and now employing over 700 people, Etsy has become an ecommerce behemoth, giving small retailers and makers the ability to expose their unique products to a broader online audience. In advance of the company going public in the biggest NYC VC-backed tech exit ever, EquityZen published a look at the company’s journey from inception to IPO, specifically focusing on its various rounds of funding (spoiler alert: USV did very well).

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In their IPO, the company set aside 5% of its shares to allow smaller investors to purchase between $100 and $2,500 worth of Etsy stock, prompting Kim Gittleson of the BBC to wonder whether craft and capitalism can coexist. Reactions to the IPO from Etsy’s retailers were mixed while the market responded very favorably, likely due in part to the dearth of IPOs so far in 2015.

Marketplaces

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