Shopify Inc.
Traded as
Industry Internet
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Revenue $580.9Million[1] (2017)

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.[2]

The company reports that it has more than 500,000 merchants using its platform,[3] with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $45 billion.[3][4][5][6]


Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment. Unsatisfied with the existing e-commerce products on the market, Lütke, a computer programmer by trade, instead built his own.[7][8][9] Lütke used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil's online store, and launched it after two months of development.[10][11]

The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June 2006.[10]

In June 2009, Shopify launched an API platform and App Store. The API allows developers to create applications for Shopify online stores and then sell them on the Shopify App Store.[5]

A Shopify window display in north London.

In April 2010, Shopify launched a free mobile app on the Apple App Store. The app lets Shopify store owners view and manage their stores from iOS mobile devices.[12] In 2010, Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.[13][14] The winners of the competition receive cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Eric Ries and others.[14] Shopify was named Ottawa's Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010.[10] The company received $7 million from an initial series A round of venture capital financing in December 2010.[15][16] Its Series B round raised $15 million in October 2011.[17]

In February 2012, Shopify acquired Select Start Studios Inc ("S3"), a mobile software developer, along with 20 of the company's mobile engineers and designers.[18][19] In August 2013, Shopify acquired Jet Cooper, a 25-person design studio based in Toronto.[20]

In August 2013, Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway.[21] The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric point of sale system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from debit and credit cards. The company received $100 million in Series C funding in December 2013.[22]

By 2014, the platform hosted approximately 120,000 online retailers,[11][12][23] and was listed as #3 in Deloitte's Fast50 in Canada, as well as #7 in Deloitte's Fast 500 of North America.[24] Shopify earned $105 million in revenue in 2014, twice as much as it raised the previous year.[25]

On April 14, 2015, Shopify filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols "SHOP" and "SH" respectively.[26][27] Shopify went public on May 21, 2015, and in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, started trading at $28, more than 60% higher than its USD$17 offering price, with its IPO raising more than $131 million.[28][29]

In September 2015, announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider;[30] Shopify's shares jumped more than 20% upon the news.[]

On October 3, 2016, Shopify acquired Boltmade.[31] In November 2016, Shopify partnered with Paystack which allowed Nigerian online retailers to accept payments from customers around the world.[32] On November 22, 2016, Shopify launched Frenzy, a mobile app that improves flash sales.[33] On December 5, 2016, Shopify acquired Toronto-based mobile product development studio Tiny Hearts. The Tiny Hearts building has been turned into a Shopify research and development office.[34]

In January 2017, Shopify announced integration with Amazon that would allow merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores.[35] Shopify's stock rose almost 10% upon this announcement.[35]

In April 2017, Shopify introduced a Bluetooth enabled debit and credit card reader for brick and mortar retail purchases.[36]


Shopify has been well received by tech website CNET, which said the platform is "clean, simple, and easy-to-use."[37] The service has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal,[38]The New York Times,[39]The Vancouver Sun,[40]The Financial Post, TechCrunch,[41] and Mashable.[11][42]

Shopify was included in Fast Company's list of Most Innovative Companies of 2012.[43] In 2013, Shopify was included on CNBC's Disrupter 50 list.[44] The company's CEO, Tobias Lütke, won The Globe and Mail's CEO of the Year in 2014.[45]


In 2017, the #DeleteShopify hashtag campaign called for a boycott of Shopify for allowing the far-right Breitbart News website to host a shop on its platform.[46][47][48] Shopify's CEO, Tobias Lütke, responded to the criticism,[49] saying "refusing to do business with the site would constitute a violation of free speech".[50][51]

Also controversial, Trump's sales on the Canadian e-commerce platform for Make America Great Again (MAGA), which has been labelled as hypocritical.[52][53] This MAGA merchandise includes t-shirts for those with Alzheimer's that say "I love waking up and remembering that Donald Trump is president."

In October 2017, activist short-seller Andrew Left, released a detailed report which described the e-commerce platform as a "get-rich-quick" scheme that is against Federal Trade Commission regulations.[54][55] The day the report was released, the stock plunged more than 11%.[56] The main question he posed was "Outside the roughly 50,000 verifiable merchants working with Shopify, who are the other 450,000 the company says it has?." Third-party marketing tactics are expected to be improved going forward.[57]


  1. ^ Dulaney, Chelsey (February 17, 2016). "Shopify Expects Revenue to Surge in 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ Bradbury, Danny. Hands-off business a reality The Financial Post. April 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "About Shopify". Shopify. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Shopify: 2016 in Review". CBC News. July 30, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Duncan, Katherine (March 12, 2012). "How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2015. 
  6. ^ Armental, Maria (April 14, 2015). "Canadian Software Company Shopify Files for U.S.-Canada IPO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ Cole, Trevor (November 27, 2014). "Our Canadian CEO of the year you've probably never heard of". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2015. 
  8. ^ Whittaker, Stephanie. The Web as a safety net The Montreal Gazette. May 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Donnelly, Jim. Shopify picks up $7M in venture funding Ottawa Business Journal. December 13, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Donnelly, Jim. Fastest Growing Companies Ottawa Business Journal. May 3, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c Duryee, Tricia. E-Commerce Assistant Shopify Raises $7 Million in First Round All Things Digital. December 13, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Rip Empson (April 11, 2013). "After 7 Years & 50K Storefronts Created, Shopify Launches Major Redesign To Simplify Online Store-Building". TechCrunch. 
  13. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Maker of iPad Cases Wins Shopify Competition The New York Times. July 19, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Rip Empson for TechCrunch. July 10, 2012 Shopify Teams Up With Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, FUBU Founder To Help You Build A $1M eCommerce Biz
  15. ^ Lewis, Rob. Ottawa's Shopify raises $7 Million Series A Funding from Bessemer, FirstMark, and Felicis Techvibes. December 13, 2010.
  16. ^ McLeod, Mark. Shopify Gets Fundified! StartupCFO. December 12, 2010.
  17. ^ Duryee, Tricia. "Shopify Picks Up $15 Million as It Faces New Competition From eBay". All Things D. Retrieved 2011. 
  18. ^ Rao, Leena (February 1, 2012). "Ecommerce Platform Shopify Acquires Mobile App Development Studio Select Start". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015. 
  19. ^ Berkow, Jameson (February 1, 2012). "Ottawa tech merger: Shopify buys Select Start Studios". Financial Post. Retrieved 2015. 
  20. ^ Lindzon, Jared (August 1, 2013). "Shopify acquires design agency Jet Cooper". BetaKit. Retrieved 2015. 
  21. ^ Shopify debuts fully integrated credit card payment processing TechCrunch, August 12, 2013
  22. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "Shopify Raises $100M To Drop The 'E' And Become The Commerce Company That Spans On- And Offline". Retrieved 2013. 
  23. ^ Pileci, Vito. makes it easy for new online entrepreneurs The Montreal Gazette. September 20, 2010.
  24. ^ Louis Columbus (November 20, 2014). "Software Companies Are Dominating Deloitte's Technology Fast 500". Retrieved 2015. 
  25. ^ Reader, Ruth (May 21, 2015). "Shopify pops 65% on the NYSE, starts trading above $28 per share". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015. 
  26. ^ "E-Commerce Software Maker Shopify Files for IPO". April 14, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  27. ^ Kokalitcheva, Kia (April 14, 2015). "E-commerce company Shopify files for initial public offering". Fortune. Retrieved 2015. 
  28. ^ Tech IPO Scorecard: Shopify Skyrockets 51%, While Baozun Rises A Slimmer 4.6%
  29. ^ Abelson, Jeremy; Narasin, Ben (May 21, 2015). "IPO Scorecard: Shopify is another point against bubble proponents". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015. 
  30. ^ "Shares in Shopify Jump 23% Following Integration with Amazon". 
  31. ^ "Shopify acquires product design firm Boltmade to boost Shopify Plus". TechCrunch. October 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ "Nigerian Merchants With Shopify Accounts Can Now Accept Payments Via Paystack | TechCabal". Retrieved 2016. 
  33. ^ "Shopify's experimental product shop launches flash sales app Frenzy". TechCrunch. November 22, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  34. ^ Jama, Robleh (December 5, 2016). "We're Joining Shopify". Tiny Hearts studio. Retrieved 2017. 
  35. ^ a b "Shopify's E-commerce Revolution". Fortune. Retrieved . 
  36. ^ Rao, Leena (20 April 2017). "Shopify Takes on Square With New Credit Card Reader". Fortune. Retrieved 2017. 
  37. ^ Needleman, Rafe. Shopify makes quick work of setting up shop "CNET". May 26, 2006.
  38. ^ Lora Kolodny for the Wall Street Journal. December 12, 2013. On Road to IPO, Shopify Raises $100M to 'Bridge Clicks and Bricks'
  39. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Shopify, a start-Up, Starts Its Own Business Competition "New York Times". February 2, 2010.
  40. ^ Pilieci, Vito. Business booming at "The Vancouver Sun". September 18, 2010.
  41. ^ Arrington, Michael. Shopify Was Worth the Wait "TechCrunch". April 15, 2006.
  42. ^ Casel, Brian.40+ Web Design and Development Resources for Beginners "Mashable". July 23, 2010.
  43. ^ "Most Innovative Companies 2012 - Industries Top 10 - Retail". Fast Company. Retrieved 2015. 
  44. ^ "CNBC Disruptor 50". CNBC. May 13, 2013. Retrieved 2015. 
  45. ^ Knowlton Thomas (November 27, 2014). "Shopify's Tobias Lütke Crowned CEO of 2014". TechVibes. Retrieved 2015. 
  46. ^ Alba, Davey (12 February 2017). "Shopify's Breitbart Fight Proves It: These Days, Tech Has to Take a Side". Wired. 
  47. ^ Pearson, Jordan (7 February 2017). "People Are Calling For a Shopify Boycott Because It Hosts Breitbart's Store". Vice - via Motherboard. 
  48. ^ Silcoff, Sean (9 February 2017). "Shopify caught in political crossfire over refusal to drop Breitbart webstore". The Globe and Mail. 
  49. ^ Etherington, Darrell (9 February 2017). "Shopify CEO attempts to defend continued hosting of Breitbart's online store". TechCrunch. 
  50. ^ Tess Townsend (February 8, 2017). "Breitbart gets to keep using Shopify to sell its merchandise". Recode. 
  51. ^ Captain, Sean (23 February 2017). "Shopify, Breitbart, And The B2B Boycotts That Are Dragging Brands Into Politics". Fast Company. 
  52. ^ "Trump uses Canadian e-commerce company to sell MAGA merch". Death and Taxes. 2017-07-24. Retrieved . 
  53. ^ "Make...Canada Great Again? Trump uses foreign company to sell #MAGA merch". Newsweek. 2017-07-24. Retrieved . 
  54. ^ "Shopify's CEO calls out Citron's Andrew Left as 'short-selling troll' - Article - BNN". BNN. 2017-10-11. Retrieved . 
  55. ^ "Short seller Andrew Left says he's found a 'business dirtier than Herbalife'". Business Insider. Retrieved . 
  56. ^ "Ignore Citron Report and Use This Dip to Buy Shopify Inc (US) (SHOP) Stock". Retrieved . 
  57. ^ Expect Shopify to rein in third-party marketing tactics in earnings call: Citi, retrieved  

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