Handmade marketplace Etsy cranked up its global ambitions a notch, thanks to its latest deal with German vintage and handmade goods community DaWanda. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based operation will take in DaWanda’s user base, as the Berlin-based business prepares to shutter on Aug. 30.
The companies will urge members to make the transition, and to make things easier, they’ve set up a simplified transfer process, available starting this week.
The communities’ kindred spirits make the transition seem like a natural next step for DaWanda’s sellers. But for Etsy, which already has 35 million active buyers and more than 50 million listings worldwide, the prospect of adding some 70,000 active sellers and two million active buyers could be more significant than merely padding its user count. Etsy sees the deal as a way of gaining a larger footprint in some key overseas markets.
“Germany has long been one of Etsy’s core geographic markets, and we have nurtured our community there through investments in marketing, technology, community events and talent in our Berlin office,” said Josh Silverman, Etsy’s chief executive officer. Also, DaWanda’s operation isn’t just limited to Germany. The retiring business serves users from Poland, Austria and Switzerland as well, effectively giving its U.S. counterpart a regional foothold in central Europe.
Globalization has been a strategic priority for Etsy, especially under Silverman’s helm. Since his start in May 2017, the company has seen impressive growth on the platform, including a global market share that has shot up more than 20 percent over the past three-quarters. The company has had an intriguing 2018 so far, from boosting its cut of sellers’ sales to dealing with new legislation governing online taxes. But even as it contends with domestic matters, Etsy has been looking abroad, exploring new opportunities in India, as well as new payments and shipping partnerships.
While the current arrangement appears strategic, it stops short of being an acquisition deal. According to the companies, there is no transfer of assets, liabilities or employees involved.
But it does mark the start of increased investment in the area for Etsy. The company plans to boost spending on regional marketing, as well as add more German and Polish customer support, translate its web site to Polish and expand payment options through a new partnership with Klarna, a German-based payments provider.