The stock price of Ottawa-based startup Shopify soared above $28 in its first day of trading on the New York exchange, after being offered for a listing price of $17.

The tech company which helps small merchants move their business online listed in New York today under the ticker SHOP.

Shopify sold 7.7 million shares for $17 apiece ahead of the listing, after investors clamoured for shares in the company because of its e-commerce potential,

The IPO price would put Shopify's market value at $1.27 billion.

The auspicious debut is raising hopes among other Canadian tech firms hoping to list to raise capital.

Founder Tobias Lütke sought a new way for small businesses to sell online, when he had snowboards to sell over the internet in 2004.

Today, 165,000 stores use Shopify. The company had a net loss of $22.3 million in 2014.

At the close of trading, the stock was trading at $25.71 US, 51 per cent above its issue price.