Etsy announced that it is piloting a new crowdfunding platform called Fund on Etsy, which is aimed at helping sellers grow their businesses and create new products. Think of it as a Kickstarter for Etsy products.
The company says Fund on Etsy is a new way to expand the "Etsy Economy," which it is also trying to expand by way of its entrepreneur program. This sees Etsy partnering with various organizations mostly around the U.S. to help train people to become better Etsy sellers and grow their businesses. Etsy announced an expansion of the program last week.
"By funding a campaign, buyers can participate in a new product’s journey from initial concept to their front door, while forging even more meaningful relationships with Etsy sellers they care about," says Etsy's Joe Lallouz.
"Over 10 years, we have learned how sellers work from beginning to end to bring products to market, and have developed products to serve their needs along the business spectrum, including tools to create and manage listings and payments, promote items, track orders and expand into new channels like wholesale," he says. "Fund on Etsy is intended to address another need — financing and product development — and fits in seamlessly with sellers’ business lifecycles."
The program is specifically (in traditional Etsy fashion) for creative handmade products. Funds raised are to help sellers expand their studios, purchase new tools, hire, etc.
The pilot will run from June 16 to August 16 with a select group of sellers. One campaign is trying to raise money to produce a line of wooden plates:
One is for ceramic cups:
One is for bags:
You get the idea. Etsy stuff.
If a campaign doesn't reach its goal, all orders are canceled and credit cards aren't charged. Cards are only charged when the campaign closes if it reaches or exceeds its goal. You can cancel your order by clicking a "request cancellation" link on your purchase history as long as you do it before the campaign closes. If it's already closed, you'll have to contact the seller directly to request a refund.
They're going to see how the pilot goes and collect feedback from both buyers and sellers before deciding whether or not to expand the program.