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Etsy acquires musical-instruments site Reverb for $275 million

Etsy, the Brooklyn-based marketplace for handmade knicknacks, said Monday it has acquired music-gear site Reverb for $275 million.

Reverb — backed by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, as well as PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and venture capitalist Roger McNamee — is a marketplace for new and vintage musical instruments and accessories, from Fender Stratocasters to analog Moog synthesizers.

Founded in 2013, Chicago-based Reverb will continue to operate independently under the terms of the acquisition. Etsy said it aims to help Reverb grow by improving its search functions, making buying and selling easier and beefing up its user base.

Etsy Chief Executive Josh Silverman said in a statement that bringing Reverb into the fold aligns with Etsy’s “mission of keeping commerce human” and described the company as “the Etsy of musical instruments.”

“Vibrant two-sided marketplaces are lightning in a bottle — there are only a handful of them operating at scale — and Reverb is one,” Silverman said.

The acquisition will not close until the third or fourth quarter of the year, at which time Reverb founder David Kalt will step down from his CEO role.

In a statement, Kalt said admires Etsy’s “dedication to keeping commerce human.”

Etsy in 2016 acquired Blackbird Technologies for $32.5 million to use its artificial intelligence software to improve online shopping searches.

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