Online retailer Etsy opens at $31 after pricing IPO at $16

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and others celebrate their IPO at the Nasdaq exchange, April 16, 2015.
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Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and others celebrate their IPO at the Nasdaq exchange, April 16, 2015.

Etsy shares more than doubled in their first day of trading Thursday after the IPO priced at $16 a share.

The stock opened at $31 and touched a high of $34.54 on the Nasdaq.

Read MoreIs Etsy the next eBay, Amazon or dot-com bust?

The New York-based online retailer's initial public offering raised about $266.66 million at that price, the top end of its expected range of $14-$16 per share. Etsy, which had 1.4 million active sellers and 19.8 million active buyers as of December, also earns from its advertising platform, payment processing and shipping labels.

Seller services were responsible for 42 percent of the company's revenue through 2014, Etsy's CEO, Chad Dickerson, told CNBC. There has been increasing demand from sellers for payment processing services so that sellers can focus on making goods they like. As of now, Etsy doesn't plan on building warehouses or handling shipping, added Dickerson.

The company, led by former Yahoo executive Dickerson, counts Amazon.com, eBay and Alibaba among its larger rivals.

Dickerson told CNBC that "92 percent of buyers who come to Etsy say they come to find goods they can't find anywhere else." In addition to a unique offering of products, the company creates a community for buyers and sellers and is taking steps to empower entrepreneurs.

The website is focused on growth in specific countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, but it was still expecting to expand beyond those.

"We are really focused on those countries but it's important to understand that Etsy sellers represent nearly every country in the world so I think over the long term you will see Etsy grow around the world," Dickerson said.

When it comes to expansion, the CEO said Etsy isn't excluding any opportunities. The company, which was created in 2005, will let entrepreneurs have a say in what direction to take. He added that Etsy is about long-term thinking. Like he said to his employees, the IPO is a great start but it's only the beginning.

—Reuters contributed to this report.