Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, that develops computer software for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.[3]

Shopify was founded in 2004, and was initially based on earlier software written by its founders for their online snowboard store.[4][5] The company reports that it has 200,000 merchants using its platform,[6] with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $10 billion.[7][8][9]


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.[5][10][11]

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.[12][13] The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June 2006.[12]

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.[8] Several companies have developed apps that integrate with the Shopify platform.[14][15]

In April 2010 Shopify launched a free mobile app on the Apple App Store in May 2010. The app lets Shopify store owners view and manage their stores from iOS mobile devices.[16] In 2010, Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.[17][18] The winners of the competition receive cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Eric Ries and others.[18] Shopify was also named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010.[12] The company received $7 million from an initial Series A funding round in December 2010.[19][20] Its Series B funding round generated $15 million in October 2011.[3]

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.[3][3] In August 2013, Shopify acquired Jet Cooper, a 25-person design studio based in Toronto.[3]

In August 2013, Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway.[3] The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric POS system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from credit cards. The company received $100 million in Series C funding in December 2013.[26]

By 2014, the platform hosted approximately 120,000 online retailers,[13][16][27] and was listed as #3 in Deloitte’s Fast50 in Canada, as well as #7 in Deloitte’s Fast 500 of North America.[3] Shopify earned $105 million in revenue in 2014, twice as much as it raised the previous year.[29]

On April 14, 2015, Shopify filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols "SHOP" and "SH" respectively.[3][31] Shopify went public on May 21, 2015, and in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, Shopify started trading at $28, more than 60% higher than its USD$17 offering price, with its IPO raising more than $131 million.[32][33]

In September 2015, announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider;[34] Shopify's shares jumped more than 20% upon the news.


Since its launch, Shopify has been well received by popular tech websites such as CNET, who say the platform is “clean, simple, and easy-to-use.”[35] The service was profiled in publications including The Wall Street Journal,[36] The New York Times,[4] The Vancouver Sun,[37] The Financial Post, TechCrunch,[38] and Mashable.[13][39]

Shopify was featured on Fast Company's list of Most Innovative Companies of 2012.[40] In 2013, Shopify was featured on CNBC's Disrupter 50 list.[41] The company's CEO, Tobias Lütke, won The Globe and Mail's CEO of the Year in 2014.[42]