Etsy… an online marketplace for all things artisan, from dog soap to Bernie Sanders dolls, seems to be on a roll. In February the firm was recertified as a “B Corporation,” which meets certain social and environmental standards, and reported good results, with sales last year reaching $2.4 billion, up by 24%. On April 5 the firm’s executives, flanked by succulents and a yarn bouquet at their headquarters in Brooklyn, announced a new service to help sellers build their own websites. On April 16 Etsy will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its initial public offering.
All this appears to add up to what Etsy aims for: “sustainable growth.” The company wants to make everybody involved richer: not just shareholders, but buyers, sellers, and manufacturers. It does not give quarterly guidance. It works for the long term. “We are really focused on building a business that can grow consistently year after year,” says Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s chief executive. Read article
GumGum CFO Phil Schraeder… What do you get when you combine the opportunity to work in an exciting, emerging industry with a company culture that allows you to thrive?
You might get what you’ve always wanted. That’s the case for Phil Schraeder, CFO and chief operating officer of GumGum, an advertising technology startup.
On the excitement side, while advertising technology broadly is a fairly well-established industry, GumGum’s niche within it — the “in-image” advertising business — is not. Still, less than five years after settling on its business model, the company is already profitable and expects this year to crack the $100 million revenue threshold. Read article
Security wake-up call… In a recent report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that a type of spear phishing attack known as “CEO email scams” is on the rise. In those kinds of attacks, the perpetrator usually assumes the identity of someone in a position of authority and sends email requests for privileged information or the transfer of assets outside the company. It’s not a new tactic, but it is one that is becoming increasingly popular; according to the FBI, businesses have racked up more than $2.3 billion in losses to targeted phishing attacks since 2013.
The main challenge is that these fraudulent emails look legitimate at first glance. They target employees in human resources, legal, accounting, finance, and other departments with seemingly urgent and innocent requests for W2 records, wire transfers, invoices, company credit card information, employees’ personal information, and more. With fairly believable asks being made by a sender that appears to be an executive or an outside service provider who would naturally want that information, employees end up cooperating and unwittingly put the company at risk. Read article
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How would you like to run a fresh young business in the kind of environment you’d long dreamed of? For the CFO of ad-tech firm GumGum, it’s real life.
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