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479

Etsy’s Surging IPO Shows Losing Your Indie Cred Pays Off

WIREDEtsy began its life as a publicly traded company today, entering a new and apparently lucrative era for the online marketplace that once crafted an identity as an artisanal alternative to mainstream marketplaces.

Shares opened at $31, a huge 94 percent surge from its initial public offering price. With stock now trading at over $34 a share, that values the company at close to $4 billion. The company raised $267 million in total.

For many of Etsy’s 1.4 million sellers and 19.8 million buyers, today’s IPO success is likely bittersweet. It represents the culmination of a protracted period of hand-wringing and sometimes bitterness among Etsy’s community of crafters and artists as the company made moves into the mainstream. In the fall of 2013, in a bid to increase revenues, Etsy changed its terms of service to let sellers offer goods outsourced to massive manufacturing partners rather than made by their own hands. This offended some of the site’s early users, who saw the deed as Etsy selling its soul. Some even moved their operations off the site.

But the decision paid off, boosting revenue from $125 million in 2013 to $195 million in 2014. And judging from today’s successful IPO, investors like that trajectory. Yes, $4 billion is still a far cry compared to the valuations of its bigger competitors: eBay ($69 billion), Amazon ($178 billion), and Alibaba ($210 billion). By those comparisons, you might even still call Etsy “niche.”

Still, going corporate could create strain as Etsy tries to negotiate the expectations tied to its original brand identity while satisfying its obligation to all its new shareholders. Signs of that tension appeared even before the IPO. In an unconventional move, the company allotted five percent of its shares to its sellers and other smaller investors, giving them the opportunity to buy as much as $2,500 in stock before the company’s public debut. That reportedly frustrated some institutional investors because it shrunk the pool of shares available to them.

But it’s hard to imagine anyone being too upset now, at least not anyone with Etsy shares. The company is now among that elite club that have pulled off red-hot internet IPOs, the kind of exit more typically expected of buzzy startups like Slack (which, just this morning, raised a $160 million round at a $2.8 billion valuation). It’s especially surprising considering how long Etsy took to get to this point. Instead of rushing to market, its journey into the mainstream took ten years—handcrafted piece by handcrafted piece.

Read more on the topic: TECHCRUNCH

Influences FinTech

April 16, 2015

466

How Yuri’s Night Became A Global Space Party Phenomenon

FAST COMPANY: On April 12, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Turns out he also inspired one helluva party. For the last 15 years, space enthusiasts around the globe have gathered on or around April 12 for International Yuri’s Night, space-themed events featuring a mixture of education, music, cocktails, and costumes. (more…)

Influences FinTech

April 15, 2015

496

Women Listen To Their Inner Thoughts About Working Out In This New Female-Focused Nike Ad

FAST COMPANY: Over the past year we’ve learned how to throw like a girl and about the jiggle theory of existence, now Nike is giving us a glimpse at the inner thoughts of some women as they run, lift and stretch toward their fitness goals. (more…)

Influences FinTech

April 13, 2015

821

The insider’s cultural guide to Hong Kong: ‘Neon, frenetic, always hungry’

THE GUARDIAN: From dim sum to protest art, pop-up cinemas to the free comedy found on the Mass Transit Railway, playwright Jingan Young shows us the city’s hectic streets (more…)

Hong Kong, Influences FinTech, InspirAsia

April 13, 2015

2097

Jorge Ruiz: Citi Looks To Build A Global Ecosystem for FinTech

FINEXTRAJorge Ruiz, managing director, Digital Acceleration Global Program Head, Citi sits down with Finextra to talk about the ongoing Citi Mobile Challenge and the development of a global ecosystem for FinTech. (more…)

Fintech news, Influences FinTech

April 10, 2015

2815

Top Co-working Spaces For Entrepreneurs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

E27.CO: With the rising trend of coworking, remote work, and “workation” retreats, entrepreneurial Millennials from around the world are quickly adopting the location-independent entrepreneurship lifestyle because of the prospect of reduced living costs, exciting new environments, and access to a network of other motivated and interesting creatives and entrepreneurs. (more…)

Influences FinTech, InspirAsia, Vietnam

April 10, 2015

813

LinkedIn To Buy Online Education Site Lynda.com For $1.5 Billion

TECHCRUNCH: Professional network LinkedIn is getting into the professional skills education market in a big way: The social company purchased Lynda.com, the online learning company founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com has long been the go-to resource for online learning on subjects like Photoshop, basic HTML, CSS, management practices and many more, offering instructional videos and tutorials from industry experts and vets long before e-learning was at anywhere near the level of interest it enjoys today. (more…)

Deals, Influences FinTech

April 9, 2015

447

Gorgeous App Lets Kids Build Their Own Robots

FAST COMPANY: INSPIRED BY LEGO, TINYBOP’S ROBOT FACTORY ENCOURAGES KIDS TO DESIGN ROBOTS BEYOND THEIR WILDEST IMAGINATIONS. (more…)

Influences FinTech

April 9, 2015

658

How To Design The Googleplex Of Schools

FAST COMPANY: When the city of Alexandria, Minnesota, asked community members what they wanted in their new high school to be like, they replied, “like the Google campus.” So they hired John Pfluger of Cuningham Group Architecture to make that a reality. Something that might not be the same size, or even necessarily have the exact design considerations, but that represents the same sense of possibility—the feeling of being adaptable to the future, whatever might come of it. The result is a state-of-the-art facility for more than 1,400 students where the word “classroom” is verboten, and where an hour in algebra class might be indiscernible from kicking back in the quad. (more…)

Influences FinTech

April 6, 2015

831

20 Buildings That Show the Future of Architecture

WIRED: Five years ago, a group of Spanish architects dug a hole on a mountainside in Laxe, Spain. They filled it with hay, covered it in concrete, let it dry and blasted an opening to the mound. Then Paulina moved in. Paulina, a cow, spent the better part of a year eating her way through the hay, and by the time she was finished, all that was left was a hollowed-out bunker, marred with hoof scrapes and imprints of straw. This is the future of architecture. Or, at least, it’s one of the many provocative glimpses Marc Kushner, co-founder of design studio HWKN and the well-known architecture website Architizer, offers up in his new book The Future of Architecture In 100 Buildings. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

April 6, 2015

531

OnePlus Launches OxygenOS, Its Custom Version Of Android

TECHCRUNCH: Smartphone-maker OnePlus just released the initial version of OxygenOS, its forked version of Android Lollipop, optimized for its OnePlus One phone. News that OnePlus was working on the operating system broke in January, after a split with partner Cyanogen. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

April 5, 2015

508

This Drone Startup Has An Ambitious (Crazy) Plan To Plant 1 Billion Trees A Year

FAST COMPANY: Lauren Fletcher wants to automate the process with drone technology. His startup, BioCarbon Engineering, plans to seed up to 1 billion trees a year, all without ever setting foot on the ground.
(more…)

Influences FinTech, news

April 3, 2015

585

Top 3 Co-Working Spaces For Technology Entrepreneurs In Bali

E27.CO: With the rising trend of co-working, remote work, and “workation” retreats, entrepreneurial Millennials from around the world are quickly adopting the location-independent entrepreneurship lifestyle because of the prospect of reduced living costs, exciting new environments, and access to a network of other motivated and interesting creatives and entrepreneurs. (more…)

Influences FinTech, InspirAsia

April 2, 2015

2568

Why These Coworking Spaces In Train Stations Let You Pay In “Social Capital”

FAST COMPANY: Is the free coworking space that’s giving 80,000 people desks in vacant areas of schools, hospitals, and train stations the future of work? (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

April 2, 2015

584

Net-A-Porter Merger Could Create “World’s Biggest Luxury Fashion Store”

FAST COMPANY: Two of the world’s best-known e-commerce sites for luxury clothing and accessories—London-based online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter and Italian e-commerce clothing company Yoox Group SpA—are merging to create a new monolithic e-retailer with an expected annual revenue of more than $1.4 billion. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 31, 2015

599

Amazon Has Invented Tiny Plastic Buttons That Allow For Instant Product Ordering

THE VERGE: Amazon is rolling out new hardware today called the Dash button that promises to solve these scenarios. It’s a small physical button that you can stick wherever, and press when you want to order more of something. Need more diapers? Hit the diaper button. Need more toilet paper? Just hit the toilet paper button. Find yourself running low on mac and cheese, razor blades, Gatorade, or laundry detergent? There is now a button for each one of those things. The future where you can just be lazy and spend money with a push of a button from Amazon is here, and it’s very real. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 31, 2015

639

HOLAWHAT? MEET THE ALT-MANAGEMENT SYSTEM INVENTED BY A PROGRAMMER AND USED BY ZAPPOS

FAST COMPANY: Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh offered his nearly 4,000 employees an ultimatum last week: accept Holacracy or leave. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 30, 2015

474

Amazon’s new Home Services Section Lets You Order Anything From A Plumber To A Goat Herder

THE NEXT WEB: Amazon may be the go-to place to shop online for physical goods, but it’s not of much use when your sink is clogged and you need a plumber, or want to have your broken iPhone screen fixed. Fret no more, as the company now lets you order a professional to your home with the aptly named ‘Amazon Home Services’, accessible at Amazon.com/services. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 30, 2015

508

Influx of Russian Talent Offers a Boost to U.S. Tech Sector

THE STREET: For those whose job is to look out for the next Sergey Brin, interesting times could be ahead. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 30, 2015

511

Facebook And Internet.org Are Building Drones To Bring The Web To Remote Places

THE NEXT WEB: Facebook works with Internet.org to bring internet access to remote places and today announced that it’s building drones, satellites and lasers in Facebook’s Connectivity Lab to achieve that goal. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 27, 2015

513

Internal Memo: Zappos is offering severance to employees who aren’t all in with Holacracy

QUARTZ: On March 24, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh shared with employees a companywide memo stating that it would more aggressively pursue self-organization and is offering employees severance to quit, giving them until April 30 to opt in or out. Hsieh tells Quartz that “the offer” is a longstanding Zappos practice that gives employees the “freedom of choice” to align with major changes. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 26, 2015

571

Amazon’s New Unlimited Cloud Storage Is Absurdly Cheap

WIRED: The steady march towards cheaper cloud storage has just turned into a sprint. Rather than being merely competitive with leaders like Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud, Amazon has decided to undercut their pricing by more than half. In some cases, much, much more. (more…)

Fintech news, Influences FinTech, Mobile payments/banking, Mobile-first banks, news

March 26, 2015

456

428

Internet Of Things Accelerator Seamless Opens Doors In Michigan

TECHCRUNCH: The West Coast of Michigan is a haven for industrial designers and is home to the world’s most iconic furniture manufacturers: Steelcase and Herman Miller. That’s because Michigan builds things. Soon there will be a new accelerator that will help young companies do just that. The accelerator program, called Seamless, targets early-stage hardware companies and gives them access to capital and, more importantly, experience in the field. Grand Rapid’s early-stage, venture capital fund Start Garden is behind the program and has enlisted the help of the region’s biggest companies.

(more…)

Fintech news, Influences FinTech, news

March 26, 2015

387

What’s up?

THE ECONOMIST: Messenger are arguably the most successful smartphone apps. The ten biggest collectively boast more than 3 billion accounts. WhatsApp, the leader, has 700m. The number of WhatsApp messages sent every day now exceeds the number of standard texts. Last year it handled more than 7 trillion messages, about 1,000 per person. But there is more to messaging apps than messages. At an event that starts today in San Francisco, Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, is expected to say that it will turn another of its apps—called Messenger—into a “platform”. That means others will be able to develop software and content for it (games; hotel bookings; tickets of all sorts). Facebook is following WeChat, the leading messaging service in China, and KakaoTalk, a South Korean messenger, which are already platforms of sorts. But it is also moving into territory occupied by Apple and Google and their respective smartphone operating systems, iOS and Android. Tech veterans may recall the “browser wars” of the late 1990s—the last time a successful programme, Netscape’s Navigator, tried to oust a dominant platform, Microsoft’s Windows. The messenger wars may be just beginning.

Influences FinTech, news

March 25, 2015

379

Facebook Launches ‘Blueprint’ Training And Certification Program For Brands And Marketers

THE NEXT WEB: Facebook does well when its advertisers do well, so it is today launching new free educational resources for marketers on its platform, both big and small. First up, ‘Blueprint‘ is a new program for training brands on the best practices for advertising and marketing campaigns. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 25, 2015

383

Urban Walks — NYC Walking Tours App

Urban Walks: “We paid special attention to the app design and content so that we want to use it ourselves and are not ashamed to recommend it to friends”.

Influences FinTech, news

March 25, 2015

443

Infographic guide to Lithuania

See why you should move your  business to Lithuania

Influences FinTech, news

March 25, 2015

526

25 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design

FAST COMPANY: Design is always changing, and with tech and design increasingly aligning, we’re arguably headed to the most radical period of change in design history. How radical will the design landscape of 2020 be, then? (more…)

Influences FinTech

March 23, 2015

521

Estonian report considers what makes Lithuania more attractive to foreign investors

INVEST LITHUANIA: Last year, Lithuania attracted 29 foreign companies. In the next three years the country should have about 2,000 additional jobs thanks to these new investors. A recent report by the “Kapital” program, broadcast on Estonian national television, investigated what Lithuania has that Estonia doesn’t. (more…)

Influences FinTech, news

March 23, 2015