Shopify fills its cart with $15 million funding

Krystal Peak · October 17, 2011 · Short URL:

BVP, FirstMark Capital, Felicis Ventures, Georgian Partners double down on eCommerce site


Shopping website platform Shopify announced Monday morning that it's secured $15 million in financing from Bessemer Venture Parters, Felicis Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Georgian Partners. This Series B funding is more than double the $7 million the Ottawa-based company attracted last December from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures.

The five-year-old ecommerce platform has aided in the building and maintenance of more than 15,000 online stores globally including Angry Birds' merchandising store, CrossFit, LMFAO, Beastie Boys,, General Electric and Tesla Motors.

"This large investment will allow us to aggressively expand operations with a focus on three areas of growth," said Tobias Lutke, CEO and co-founder of Shopify, in a statement. "First, we're looking to continue hiring the best developers and designers in the world. Second, we would like to open the door to strategic partnerships and acquisitions. Lastly, we will provide seed funding to developers looking to build apps that integrate with the Shopify platform." 

Along with the funding announcement, Shopify is also creating "The Shopify Fund" that is comprised of $1 million. The company's website states that this fund was designed to "help developers, designers and entrepreneurs that want to build apps and other useful application that enrich the Shopify platform."

Anyone in the Shopify catalog can contact the company with an idea they have about a new app or utility and if the company finds it intriguing, they can advance the creator $5,000 -- $10,000 from the fund, as an advance on future sales from the creation. Close to 100 applications have already been created by users and other individuals such as the eBay importer, that moves eBay listings onto Shopify, and the ShopiMap, that shows future customers the places your products have been sent to. 

Designers can also reach out to Shopify, even if they don't have an idea, and could be hired to make one of the items on the fund wish list.

The Shopify platform is known for its scalability and simple, clean platform that can work for high-end commerce such as Tesla innovations or non-profit purchases from the likes of Amnesty International.

"The overwhelming majority of businesses are not yet selling online because the tools available have historically been complex and expensive," said Bessemer Venture Partners' Trevor Oelschig in a statement. "Shopify is working to change this by building beautiful products that are easy for businesses to use. Shopify's rapid growth and customer success speaks to the power of Shopify's platform and we are excited to be involved as they continue to expand."

When a company wants to create a Shopify store, they can choose from a range of affordable packages from the $29 per month basic package to the $179 unlimited monthly package. The platform allows the company to host the store on its own domain -- so the shopping experience does not direct consumers away from your address -- but also offers companies to use the address if they don't own a domain.

"We looked at a number of different ecommerce options, but Shopify made the most sense," said Niklas Kari, Angry Birds' Head of Retail, in a statement.  "We had strong recommendations from other partners, and setting up the store was easy." Rovio recently announced they have sold over 2 million Angry Birds plush toys.

The co-creators Tobias Lutke and Cody Fauser created Shopify as a method in selling their snowboards online, with Snow Devil, and eventually started helping other businesses with their online income.

The firms behind this Series B funding have also backed the likes of LinkedIn, Blue Nile, Skype, Yelp, StubHub (acquired by eBay), Wildfire and Practice Fusion. 

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