Etsy's head office in Brooklyn

Ever wanted a Bill Murray dotted T-shirt or a vintage, crochet pillow? Then Etsy is for you.

The Brooklyn-based online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods filed plans to list on the stock market on Wednesday, aiming to bring its indie, artisanal ethos to the home of tech stocks, Nasdaq.

Founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, the company has been described by some as the Amazon of the craft world as it offers small-scale producers the chance to reach a global customer base.

In 2014, it had 1.4m sellers and 19.8m buyers of objects ranging from a concrete chair to a 1957 Turquoise Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter. A silk library bookcase chair is advertised, made to order, for $2,950.

Highlighting its corporate social responsibility in its listing filing Etsy said: “We eat on compostable plates, and employees sign up to deliver our compost by bike to a local farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn.”

The company charges sellers a $0.20 fee per item listed and a 3.5 per cent fee for sales completed on the site.

Here is a guide to Etsy by numbers:

Rising revenues, continued losses

Gross merchandise sales growth, or the total sales generated from transactions between Etsy buyers and sellers, hit $1.9bn in 2014, yet sellers’ fees and other operating costs resulted in net losses of $15.2m.

Etsy financials
Gross merchandise sales$895m$1.4bn$1.9bn
Operating Loss$2.4m$0.8m$15.2m

Growing community

The community is growing alongside gross merchandise sales, particularly with active buyers.

Etsy community
Active sellers830,0001,074,0001,353,000
Active buyers9,317,00014,032,00019,810,000

Increasingly profitable marketplace

Etsy calculates community retention rates based on the number of currently active sellers and buyers against its 2011 records of active sellers and buyers.

Seller retention
Per cent 2011 active sellers10052.639.332.3
Average gross merchandise sales per 2011 active seller$817$2,241$3,314$4,299
Buyer retention
Per cent 2011 active buyers10046.244.744.7
Average gross merchandise sale per 2011 buyer$103$177$186$195
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