DIY marketplace Etsy and Dwolla*, a payments company, are co-organizing an Ecommerce Hack Day at The Hatchery in New York City in August featuring an impressive array of participants like Zappos, Constant Contact, Ordr.in, Sincerely, Twilio, Stripe, Gumroad, Kiip, and Busted Tees.
But to raise the bar for participants, the startups have thrown down a (mini) gauntlet.
Etsy founder Rob Kalin used to be fond of referencing Etsy’s future IPO. But lately, the crafty Dumbo-based marketplace, which says it has been in the black since 2009, has eased up on the rhetoric. After the latest raise, CEO Chad Dickerson intimated that funding from any new sources was not on the immediate horizon. “The funding also ensures that the company has the operating funds to last for many years so that the Etsy community is in a position to succeed for a very long time,” he wrote.
The Etsy seller who inspired the virtual walkout dubbed Protesty has disappeared from the site, Daily Dot noticed today. The seller, Mariana Schechter of EcologicaMalibu, was importing wood from Balinese boats and designing furniture to be assembled by eight employees, which some users felt was a violation of Etsy’s rules, or at least its DIY ethos. EcologicaMalibu’s Featured Seller interview is still up on the Etsy blog.
Etsy has closed the latest forum discussion about EcologicaMalibu and told the Daily Dot that it was not involved in the removal of EcologicaMalibu. But before the company did, one forum user noted that EcologicaMalibu is has a new home: HomeSav, where Ms. Schechter also scored a featured seller spot.
Non-DIY sellers self-selecting out would be ideal for Etsy as the company struggles to keep its marketplace handmade.
Around this time last year, I developed a nervous twitch around my right eye that made me look like a Bond villain. Instead of getting more sleep or drinking less coffee, I decided to buy an eye patch—but, like, a cool eye patch. My eye patch should be unique and stylish in addition to being functional, I decided, and reflect that I am quirky and confident.
There are some things you can really only buy on Etsy.
Slow News Day
It’s Memorial Day, the sun is out, and no one is clicking things on the Internet. The New York Observer newsroom is quiet; half the Betabeat team is on vacation and one quarter is “working from home.” Even the bluegrass band in Times Square is absent.
So when Gawker writer Louis Peitzman, casting around for a subject on a slow news day, inadvertently rewrote an old Jezebel post about an Etsy seamstress who embroiders Kanye West’s tweets, we sympathized. We also wondered where else the Kanye West phenomenon and the world of Etsy might overlap. Many places, it turns out: a search for “Kanye” in Etsy’s section for handmade goods yields 242 results. Here’s the best and worst of the West. All for you, dear readers. All 10 of you.
They See Me Trollin'
Man, is there anything worse than getting mugged on payday? Just last week, Etsy announced a $40 million Series F with investors including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners, a round that’ll help the company go global. But Unified Messaging Solutions–a subsidiary of the patent pitbulls over at Acacia Research Corporation–has other plans. GigaOm reports that firm has just filed a lawsuit accusing Etsy of infringing its patents on “methods for storing, delivering and managing messages.”
Sure it has, Unified Messaging Solutions. Sure it has.
DIY-ers, you may now begin crocheting celebratory pillows and other yarn finery: E-commerce site Etsy, also known as Amazon for Twee People, announced today that it has raised a $40 million Series F round from investors, including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners.
In a lengthy blog post, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson strayed from the typical tech funding announcement, instead choosing to first focus on Etsy’s growth and continued commitment to making the world a better place through business. The DUMBO-based startup has scored a B Corporation certification, which “gives [them] a framework to measure Etsy’s success against rigorous values and responsible practices as [they] scale as a company.”
Last month, DUMBO-based e-commerce platform Etsy redesigned their popular wedding section, a “combination of wedding items, trends, how-to’s, expert advice and the stories of real couples.” The sleek redesign, which was rolled out in conjunction with a wedding registry, was meant to showcase designs from a variety of contributors, but according to the Daily Dot, that’s not what happened at all.
The Perks of Being a Developer
Avi Bryant, a well-known developer who most recently worked at Twitter, just announced he’s joining Etsy to head up a mysterious new project that will help Etsy’s shops become “more economically viable despite being tiny.”
But while Mr. Bryant will be moving out of San Francisco, he won’t be settling down in Fort Greene or Astoria. Instead, he’s moving to the gorgeous Galiano Island in British Columbia. The freedom to work remotely was a major factor in his decision to join Etsy, he said.
“My wife and I have the incredible luck to have the right to live and work in any of the US, Canada, and the EU; it would be a shame not to take advantage of that,” Mr. Bryant wrote on his personal blog. “That Etsy is letting me do this, not just as an individual contributor, but as a manager, and not just for myself, but for my entire team, is exceptional and, in my opinion, far-sighted.”
the startup rundown
3..2..1..BLASTOFF. It’s official: NYC is now one of the spots for NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, a two-day development event happening in cities on six continents and aboard the International Space Station. StartupBus NYC and the NY Tech Council are both helping with the coordination of the event, which focuses on how technology can address problems with minimal resources in creative and innovative ways. Register here.
SPLISH SPLASH. Don’t you hate it when all your friends get into a band you’ve already been sick of for weeks? You tried to spread the good sonic vibrations early on but to no avail—the world simply wasn’t quite ready for that new fangled rock ‘n’ roll music. But that’s not a problem anymore. Splash.FM, a new social music platform, will make sure you get the credit for discovering a band before they were cool. Splash.FM has been in private beta since Jan. 16 and is preparing to go live publicaly on April 17th. Like on Spotify, users can follow friends, search for and stream songs and make recommendations for friends—called “splashing.” Beyond that users will be be able to see what songs are trending among their friends and assign “splash scores” to rate other’s music discovery skills. It’s an official hipster socreboard! Splash.FM plans to eventually allow artists and labels into their analytics to see how when, how often and where their songs are being played. Take that, Spotify!