Shopify buys Boltmade to enhance its enterprise offering

Steven Loeb · October 3, 2016 · Short URL:

The entire 21 person Boltmade team will be coming over to Shopify

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Commerce platform Shopify has its sights set on the enterprise, but that requires a different model than its typical clients. The larger merchants it's coveting require a more hands on, and more specialized, treatment.

That's why the company has acquired product design and development consultancy Boltmade, it was announced on  Monday. The Boltmade team will be closing up their contracts with existing customers, and all 21 employees will be coming over to Shopify, where they will become part of the company's enterprise offering, Shopify Plus. 

Shopify Plus, which was launched in 2014, is a subscription plan for merchants with higher volume sales and additional functionality requirements. It comes with a scalable SaaS platform, unlimited bandwidth, and over 70 payment gateways.

"The team won’t have to move far. They will still be based out of Waterloo working with/incorporated into the Shopify Plus design and engineering teams,"  Loren Padelford, VP of Shopify Plus, told me.

Founded in 2013, Boltmade was a design and development shop for Web and mobile. Rather than having its own technology, it was a project shop for others companies. One of those clients was Shopify.

"We first started working with the Boltmade team in early 2016, on a project to improve the way customers see their orders, through a worldmap dashboard. We quickly realized the team’s depth of talent and saw huge potential for furthering our relationship with them," Padelford said.

"Shopify Plus is our commerce offering for high growth, high volume merchants. These customers have specific needs and the team will focus on accelerating the product roadmap for Plus. Like our other acquisitions, Boltmade brings top talent into Shopify."

For Boltmade, becoming part of Shopify means getting access to Shopify's resouces and scale. Shopify currently powers over 300,000 businesses in approximately 150 countries, including Tesla Motors, Budweiser, Google, Wikipedia, LA Lakers and GoldieBlox.

"Shopify Plus offers high-growth, high-volume merchants a cloud-based, fully hosted enterprise commerce platform, without the limitations of legacy solutions. Shopify is one of Canada’s best and most exciting companies, and we are honoured and humbled to now be joining them on this journey," the company wrote in a message on its homepage.

"This milestone gives the Boltmade family an opportunity to take everything we’ve learned and share it on a scale that was just not possible before. Most importantly, this marks the next step in empowering everyone to level-up their craft."

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it was revealed to me that Boltmade used the Laurence Group as an advisor. 

"Consumer expectations are rapidly changing. Over the past two years Shopify Plus has started to change the landscape for large merchants, offering a different model for them to align their commerce strategies with consumer needs," said Padelford.

"To ensure we’re at the forefront of the industry and emerging trends, we need to continuously develop our product offering, to help our merchants meet the needs of their customers."

This is only the second acquisition for Shopify this year. It previously bought Kit, a virtual marketing assistant that leverages messaging to help businesses market their online stores, in April.

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