Perhaps the best way to justify the lofty valuation Etsy Inc. seeks is to see the IPO as a prelude to a takeover.

The online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods is set to price its initial public offering Wednesday at a market value of at least $1.55 billion, or 8 times 2014 revenue. While that’s more than twice the multiple fetched by Internet retailers from Inc. and Zulily Inc., it’s within the range at which these types of companies tend to get bought.

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