US-based ecommerce player Etsy launches in India


New York-based online marketplace for handcrafted goods Etsy has launched in India. The India team, based in Delhi, aims to help local entrepreneurs sell their unique and handcrafted goods with across the world.

Etsy’s launch in Delhi included a panel discussion on ‘Digital Enablement of Creative Micro-Entrepreneurs’ which saw participation by Nandini Bhalla, Editor, Cosmopolitan India; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Jaya Jaitly, Founder, Dastkari Haat Samiti; Sairee Chahal, Founder, SHEROES; and Anavila Misra, textile designer.

Indian sellers have been using Etsy for a long time, with about 650,000 items listed on Etsy from them. With its latest development, the company has planned a series of activities to recruit and assist new sellers (online and offline), including offering free listings incentives to all new sellers in India on the platform. This is similar to how Amazon, another US-based ecommerce giant, entered India in 2013.

Founded in 2005, Etsy serves globally, and claims to have connected two million creative entrepreneurs, out of whom 87 percent are women, with around 35 million customers around the globe. Etsy has raised close to $100 million from multiple investors before and after its IPO in 2015.

“Etsy is powered by the spirit and passion of millions of creative entrepreneurs and we are excited to now have a team in India to support the existing community here and help more creative entrepreneurs in the region share their work with the world through Etsy,” said Himanshu Wardhan, Managing Director for Etsy - India, in a press release. It stated that Etsy generated $3.25 billion in annual gross merchandise sales in 2017.

Etsy’s product categories include fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, and vintage collectibles.

In India, startups like LoveThisStuff and Kraftly had tried their hands in this sector. The former shut down while the latter pivoted. However, Bengaluru-based ecommerce startups Qtrove and Wishing Chair, and Delhi-based DecorKart are thriving in the sector. With ecommerce growing rapidly in India, many platforms are encouraging handicrafts and niche products.