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Craftsy Bought By NBCUniversal

Online craft education and retail portal Craftsy notified its staff and customers on Wednesday that the company has been bought by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.

craftsy logo

Denver, Colorado-based Craftsy, which grew out of a start-up called Sympoz Inc., was founded by former executives of eBay and ServiceMagic.com and went live in 2011. By the end of 2014, the company had received four rounds of venture capital funding totaling nearly $100 million. No terms have been announced for the company’s acquisition.

Although it has never been profitable, Craftsy has boasted of having over eleven million users (and a million visitors per week) in recent press statements. The site’s online classes in creative arts include such topics as papercrafting, photography, quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, drawing, painting, cooking, and crochet, among others. Craftsy also sells craft supplies and patterns via their online platform.

In a letter to the site’s users and staff, founder & CEO John Levisay indicated that he will be remaining with the company for the next four years. Levisay also indicated that the company’s offices in Denver and Indianapolis will both continue to operate. NBCUniversal also has an office in Denver. Levisay also revealed that Craftsy had been approached by multiple prospective buyers previously whose overtures were rebuffed, but that he felt that NBCUniversal was a good fit for the company.

For those looking to join the newly acquired company, Craftsy posted a job opening two days ago for their Denver office for a Community Manager position.

The streaming craft educational content market has has seen a few interesting alignments in recent months. In early March, Craftsy announced a new partnership with Michaels Stores that would provide exclusive offers to Michaels customers for the site’s classes and provide the site’s customers access to Michaels’ product offerings. This was followed in April by the announcement that Creativebug had been purchased by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. It seems that the major players in the space – and the major players interested in the space – are picking sides and placing their bets.

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2 Responses to Craftsy Bought By NBCUniversal

  1. karen morazes May 11, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    Michael’s stores r quite disappointing these days. Takes them f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to get new product in. Paper and scrapbooking isles seem diminished Breadth of products available out there r immense compared to Michael’s paltry offerings. Website sells stuff but then I cannot buy on line based on somebody’s arbitrary and capricious decision making process that items r not available on line. Very Very Frustrating store. Not even worth going into in person….they have hugely limited inventory in store plus they keep stocking the same old tired house brand and/or cheaper products that only beginners would buy. Just completely fed up with Mr Michael’s

  2. gabmcann May 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm #

    Thanks Nancy – I’ve never done a Craftsy class so I’ll have to keep an eye on the site to see if there any changes

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