Shopify Inc.
Traded as
Industry Internet
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Revenue $151.7 Million[1] (2017)

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

The Shopify company was founded in 2004, and its software platform was initially based on earlier software written by its founders for their online snowboard store.[3][4] The company reports that it has more than 500,000 merchants using its platform,[5] with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $45 billion.[5][6][7][8]


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, decided to build his own.[4][9][10]

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.[11][12] The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June 2006.[11]

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.[7] Several companies have developed apps that integrate with the Shopify platform.[13][14]

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.[15] In 2010, Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.[16][17] The winners of the competition receive cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Eric Ries and others.[17] Shopify was named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010.[11] The company received $7 million from an initial series A round of venture capital financing in December 2010.[18][19] Its Series B round generated $15 million in October 2011.[20]

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.[21][22] In August 2013, Shopify acquired Jet Cooper, a 25-person design studio based in Toronto.[23]

In August 2013, Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway.[24] 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.[25]

By 2014, the platform hosted approximately 120,000 online retailers,[12][15][26] and was listed as #3 in Deloitte’s Fast50 in Canada, as well as #7 in Deloitte’s Fast 500 of North America.[27] Shopify earned $105 million in revenue in 2014, twice as much as it raised the previous year.[28]

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.[29][30] 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.[31][32]

In September 2015, announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider;[33] Shopify's shares jumped more than 20% upon the news.

On October 3, 2016, Shopify acquired Boltmade.[34] In November 2016, Shopify partnered with Paystack which allowed Nigerian online retailers to accept payments from customers around the world.[35] On November 22, 2016, Shopify launched Frenzy, a mobile app that improves flash sales.[36] 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.[37]

In January 2017, Shopify announced integration with Amazon that would allow merchants to sell on Amazon from their Shopify stores.[38] Shopify's stock rose almost 10% upon this announcement.[38]

In April 2017, Shopify introduced a Bluetooth enabled debit and credit card reader for brick and mortar retail purchases.[39]


Shopify has been well received by tech website CNET, which said the platform is "clean, simple, and easy-to-use."[40] The service has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal,[41] The New York Times,[3] The Vancouver Sun,[42] The Financial Post, TechCrunch,[43] and Mashable.[12][44]

Shopify was included in Fast Company's list of Most Innovative Companies of 2012.[45] In 2013, Shopify was included on CNBC's Disrupter 50 list.[46] The company's CEO, Tobias Lütke, won The Globe and Mail's CEO of the Year in 2014.[47]


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.[48][49][50] Shopify spokesperson Sheryl So responded that “Shopify is a common carrier, which means that if a merchant's business and the products it sells are legal in the jurisdiction where it is operating, the merchant is permitted on Shopify.” [51] Shopify's CEO, Tobias Lütke, also responded to the criticism,[52] saying "refusing to do business with the site would constitute a violation of free speech".[53][54]


  1. ^ Dulaney, Chelsey (February 17, 2016). "Shopify Expects Revenue to Surge in 2016". Forbes. Retrieved March 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ Bradbury, Danny. Hands-off business a reality The Financial Post. April 21, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora. Shopify, a start-Up, Starts Its Own Business Competition “New York Times”. February 2, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Cole, Trevor (November 27, 2014). "Our Canadian CEO of the year you've probably never heard of". Globe & Mail. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "About Shopify". Shopify. Retrieved Aug 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Shopify: 2016 in Review". CBC News. July 30, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Duncan, Katherine (March 12, 2012). "How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups". Entrepreneur. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ Armental, Maria (April 14, 2015). "Canadian Software Company Shopify Files for U.S.-Canada IPO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ Whittaker, Stephanie. The Web as a safety net The Montreal Gazette. May 4, 2009.
  10. ^ Donnelly, Jim. Shopify picks up $7M in venture funding Ottawa Business Journal. December 13, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c Donnelly, Jim. Fastest Growing Companies Ottawa Business Journal. May 3, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c Duryee, Tricia. E-Commerce Assistant Shopify Raises $7 Million in First Round All Things Digital. December 13, 2010.
  13. ^ "channeladvisor-expands-webstores-solution-with-shopify". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ Novellino, Teresa (December 15, 2014). "Wanelo deal with Shopify gives indie retailers a wing in digital mall". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Rip Empson (April 11, 2013). "After 7 Years & 50K Storefronts Created, Shopify Launches Major Redesign To Simplify Online Store-Building". TechCrunch. 
  16. ^ Kolodny, Lora. Maker of iPad Cases Wins Shopify Competition The New York Times. July 19, 2010.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ Lewis, Rob. Ottawa's Shopify raises $7 Million Series A Funding from Bessemer, FirstMark, and Felicis Techvibes. December 13, 2010.
  19. ^ McLeod, Mark. Shopify Gets Fundified! StartupCFO. December 12, 2010.
  20. ^ Duryee, Tricia. "Shopify Picks Up $15 Million as It Faces New Competition From eBay". All Things D. Retrieved October 18, 2011. 
  21. ^ Rao, Leena (February 1, 2012). "Ecommerce Platform Shopify Acquires Mobile App Development Studio Select Start". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ Berkow, Jameson (February 1, 2012). "Ottawa tech merger: Shopify buys Select Start Studios". Financial Post. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ Lindzon, Jared (August 1, 2013). "Shopify acquires design agency Jet Cooper". BetaKit. Retrieved March 4, 2015. 
  24. ^ Shopify debuts fully integrated credit card payment processing TechCrunch, August 12, 2013
  25. ^ Etherington, Darrell. "Shopify Raises $100M To Drop The 'E' And Become The Commerce Company That Spans On- And Offline". Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ Pileci, Vito. makes it easy for new online entrepreneurs The Montreal Gazette. September 20, 2010.
  27. ^ Louis Columbus (November 20, 2014). "Software Companies Are Dominating Deloitte's Technology Fast 500". Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  28. ^ Reader, Ruth (May 21, 2015). "Shopify pops 65% on the NYSE, starts trading above $28 per share". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  29. ^ "E-Commerce Software Maker Shopify Files for IPO". April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  30. ^ Kokalitcheva, Kia (April 14, 2015). "E-commerce company Shopify files for initial public offering". Fortune. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  31. ^ Tech IPO Scorecard: Shopify Skyrockets 51%, While Baozun Rises A Slimmer 4.6%
  32. ^ Abelson, Jeremy; Narasin, Ben (May 21, 2015). "IPO Scorecard: Shopify is another point against bubble proponents". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Shares in Shopify Jump 23% Following Integration with Amazon". 
  34. ^ "Shopify acquires product design firm Boltmade to boost Shopify Plus". TechCrunch. October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Nigerian Merchants With Shopify Accounts Can Now Accept Payments Via Paystack | TechCabal". Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Shopify's experimental product shop launches flash sales app Frenzy". TechCrunch. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  37. ^ Jama, Robleh (December 5, 2016). "We're Joining Shopify". Tiny Hearts studio. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  38. ^ a b "Shopify's E-commerce Revolution". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  39. ^ Rao, Leena (20 April 2017). "Shopify Takes on Square With New Credit Card Reader". Fortune. Retrieved 4 June 2017. 
  40. ^ Needleman, Rafe. Shopify makes quick work of setting up shop “CNET”. May 26, 2006.
  41. ^ Lora Kolodny for the Wall Street Journal. December 12, 2013. On Road to IPO, Shopify Raises $100M to ‘Bridge Clicks and Bricks’
  42. ^ Pilieci, Vito. Business booming at “The Vancouver Sun”. September 18, 2010.
  43. ^ Arrington, Michael. Shopify Was Worth the Wait “TechCrunch”. April 15, 2006.
  44. ^ Casel, Brian.40+ Web Design and Development Resources for Beginners “Mashable”. July 23, 2010.
  45. ^ "Most Innovative Companies 2012 - Industries Top 10 - Retail". Fast Company. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  46. ^ "CNBC Disruptor 50". CNBC. May 13, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  47. ^ Knowlton Thomas (November 27, 2014). "Shopify's Tobias Lütke Crowned CEO of 2014". TechVibes. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  48. ^ Alba, Davey (12 February 2017). "Shopify's Breitbart Fight Proves It: These Days, Tech Has to Take a Side". Wired. 
  49. ^ Pearson, Jordan (7 February 2017). "People Are Calling For a Shopify Boycott Because It Hosts Breitbart's Store". Vice – via Motherboard. 
  50. ^ Silcoff, Sean (9 February 2017). "Shopify caught in political crossfire over refusal to drop Breitbart webstore". The Globe and Mail. 
  51. ^ Haley Ritchie. Shopify says it will keep allowing Breitbart News to use platform Metro News. January 31, 2017.
  52. ^ Etherington, Darrell (9 February 2017). "Shopify CEO attempts to defend continued hosting of Breitbart's online store". TechCrunch. 
  53. ^ Tess Townsend (February 8, 2017). "Breitbart gets to keep using Shopify to sell its merchandise". Recode. 
  54. ^ Captain, Sean (23 February 2017). "Shopify, Breitbart, And The B2B Boycotts That Are Dragging Brands Into Politics". Fast Company. 

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