Shopify Raises $100M before IPO

By: George Hancock Jr.  |  April 15, 2015

Shopify is an online retail platform used by everyone from Joe next door to Tesla Motors. It competes with Amazon Web Services, Squarespace and Bigcommerce. Those companies provide solutions to web retailers and save them the time and energy of programming an entire website.

Tobias Lütke is a founder of Shopify.  He says that his vision is to become a dominant commerce solution world-wide.  Not only for e-commerce, but commerce as a whole. That’s the reasoning behind the funding push. He launched a point of sale version of their solution earlier this year. It runs on tablets and uses the same dashboard as their web store platform. This product competes with Square, an easy-to-install point of sale program you can really use anywhere you can bring your tablet or smart phone. Shopify’s version can be used offline and comes with its own app store for extra functionality. It’s much like WordPress, but for retailers. Another really useful thing that Shopify created is its Experts Marketplace, where people who can provide necessary services to retailers can get in touch with you. They launched Shopify mobile recently, too.

Investor Aydin Senkut says the new brick and mortar solution has “successfully bridged clicks to bricks,” the “holy grail of commerce.” Shopify’s next goal is to learn as much as possible about offline (sometimes what brick and mortar stores use) retail sales. They’ve been attending events and getting familiar with their future competitors.

Mr. Lütke says that Shopify wants to go public in a few years. His company has 80,000 active merchants today and a valuation of “near $1 billion”, according to Wall Street Journal. He thinks Shopify is poised to gain retailers who just want to focus on their products, not HTML and JavaScript.

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