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Can Etsy make money and do good at the same time?

Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Etsy doesn't think of itself as just another e-commerce company. It says its mission is to "reimagine commerce."

The 10-year-old Brooklyn-based company—which is expected to price its IPO after the bell Wednesday—is a marketplace for handmade and vintage products, giving 1.4 million sellers a platform and tools to connect with 19.8 million buyers.

And while the company's revenue is growing, it still shows large operating loses, and may test whether a company with a lofty mission can make money.

For sure, Etsy's reach is massive: It has 29 million items listed, with people buying and selling from nearly every country in the world, and $1.93 billion in gross merchandise sales last year.

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