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[Posted on January 30, 2008 - 2:01 PM]

kalin.jpgRob Kalin, the young founder of online craft market Esty Inc., has once again set aside his inherent suspicion of venture capitalists, announcing a $27 million Series D round.

Leading the funding is Accel Partners, and the firm's Jim Breyer will join the company's board, Brooklyn-based Etsy announced Wednesday via a blog post from Kalin. Breyer, an early investor in Facebook Inc., "has many times shown that he can see into the heart of matters, finding and supporting businesses that tap into underlying and disruptive change for the common good," Kalin wrote.

Here's our video interview with Kalin from November of last year, when he discussed the startup's initial funding.

Breyer and his firm appear to still be behind young Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, despite his recent stumbles. Whether Accel will continue to back the inexperienced Kalin -- or opt to bring in a more experienced CEO to take Etsy to the next level -- is an open question. The startup might just be at that point in its lifespan.

The funding marks a big financial boost for Etsy, which had raised only $5 million in its previous three rounds. While the company has almost reached breakeven, it needs expansion capital, Kalin said. Hardware and hosting costs over the next two years will reach $5 million; it needs to build an in-house payment system; and, perhaps most importantly, it needs a cushion for the potential challenges facing the economy at large, he said.

Quite a change from the startup's humble beginnings, when, as he told Tech Confidential last fall, Kalin was turning away VCs left and right.

Accel Partners joins previous investors Union Square Ventures and Hubert Burda Media in the round. - Olaf de Senerpont Domis

See Jan. 30 post from Etsy's The Storque blog
See November 2007 story and video interview from Tech Confidential
For more see GigaOm, Silicon Alley Insider, CNet, Union Square Ventures, Custom T-Shirt Talk



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