|License||Software as a service|
Shopify was founded in 2004, and was initially based on earlier software written by its founders for their online snowboard store. The company reportedly has that 150,000 merchants using its platform, with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $7 billion.
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 programmer by trade, decided to build his own.
Lütke used open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil's online store, and launched it after two months' of development. The Snowdevil founders launched their service as Shopify in June 2006.
In 2010, Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, which has participants create a business using its commerce platform. The winners of the competition receive cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Daymond John, Timothy Ferriss and Eric Ries. Shopify was also named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010. During the next four years, the company's 40 employees increased to more than 500 with offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Kitchener.
By 2014, the platform claimed to host approximately 120,000 online retailers, and was listed as #3 in Deloitte’s Fast50 in Canada, as well as #7 in Deloitte’s Fast 500 of North America.
Funding and acquisitions
In October 2011, Shopify received $15 million in Series B funding.
Shopify is a fully managed commerce platform that helps establish online businesses and provides retail point-of-sale systems for both online and offline companies. Shopify's core features include the ability to manage products, inventory, customers, orders and discounts. Merchants on Shopify may accept payments both online and in person using a built-in payment system, called Shopify Payments, or an external gateway, such as Paypal or Bitcoin payments.
In June 2009, Shopify launched its 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. There are currently over 1000 free and paid apps. Several companies have developed apps that integrate with the Shopify platform.
The Shopify Theme Store was unveiled in April 2010. The store allows developers sell theme templates using the Shopify platform. Shopify released 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.
In August 2013, Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments. Shopify Payments allows merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway. The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric POS system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from credit cards.
Shopify launched Build-A-Business, a competition to create a business to sell products on its platform in 2010. The competition created close to 1,400 new businesses that generated over $3.5 million in sales. DODOcase, an iPad case manufacturer based in San Francisco, California was the grand prize winner of $100,000. This competition has run annually since its establishment.
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.” The service was profiled in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Vancouver Sun, The Financial Post, TechCrunch, and Mashable.
Shopify was featured on Fast Company's list of Most Innovative Companies of 2012. In 2013, Shopify was featured on CNBC's Disrupter 50 list. The company's CEO, Tobias Lutke, won The Globe and Mail's CEO of the Year in 2014.
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