Etsy Raises $20M, Names Freed COO

Riding high off a tough economy and consumers' broadening tastes, online crafts marketplace Etsy has raised an additional $20 million in venture capital. Index Ventures participated in this latest round, along with existing investor Accel Partners.

Also on Friday, the crunchy e-commerce site named former Google international exec Adam Freed as its new chief operating officer. Freed left the search giant about two years ago.

Since its debut back in 2005, the Brooklyn-based company has raised roughly $52 million. The company now has a valuation of more than $300 million and presently has about 125 employees.

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, who sits on Etsy's board of directors, said in a blog post Friday that the funds would help provide liquidity for some of the early angel investors, rather than providing a way for Etsy's founders or larger venture funds to take money out of the company.

"It was not founder liquidity driven," Wilson said of the deal. "The founders did not sell in the transaction. It was not VC liquidity driven. Some of the existing VC firms actually bought in the transaction. It was angel liquidity driven."

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Eyeing global expansion plans, Etsy -- which serves as a hub for buyers and sellers of handmade goods, vintage goods and art supplies -- recently began supporting 23 separate currencies through PayPal for shoppers to use.

Union Square Partners and Hubert Burda Media are also investors in Etsy, as well as Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake.

In early 2008, Etsy secured a major round of financing worth $27 million in funding.

Last year, Etsy did more than $130 million in yearly gross merchandise sales. That number was up from $88 million in 2008 and $26 million in 2007.

Etsy keeps 3.5% of those sales for its revenues, while other revenue streams include listing fees -- $0.20/item -- and fees for listings that appear on category searches and links from the home page.

The company's culture can be summed up in two words: T-shirt press -- which they keep in the break room in the back.

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