Shopify to raise $100M in Toronto, New York IPO

Ottawa startup Shopify, which makes software used by thousands of businesses to sell their products online, has filed documents saying it plans to list on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.

Ottawa-based startup helps small businesses sell their goods online

Tobias Lütke is founder and CEO of Shopify, which has announced plans to list in Toronto and New York. (Ben Courtice/Shopify)

Ottawa startup Shopify, which makes software used by thousands of businesses to sell their products online, has filed documents saying it plans to list on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.

The company intends to raise as much as $100-million, but has yet to set a firm figure or a share price, it says in a regulatory filing.

It seeks to be listed as SHOP on the New York Stock Exchange, and SH on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The business, which provides a cloud-based commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses, has been growing rapidly and raised $100 million in venture capital last year.

Shopify was started in 2006 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand and Scott Lake to sell snowboards online. Now, the company has about 500 employees, with offices in Ottawa, Montreal, Kitchener and Toronto.

Revenues doubled in 2013, 2014

Its total revenues have doubled from $23.7 million in 2012, to $50.3 million in 2013 and to $105 million in 2014.

However, it experienced net losses each year, losing $22.3 million in 2014.

Shopify intends to spend the proceeds of its IPO investing in growth, including growing its merchant base and innovating and expanding its platform.

It had 162,261 merchants from approximately 150 countries using the platform at the end of March, growth of 68 per cent from the previous year, the company said in its prospectus.

It estimates $3.8 billion of sales were processed through its platform in 2014.

Shopify sees potential for growth as e-commerce becomes increasingly critical for smaller retail players.

"Our platform provides merchants with an intuitive user experience that requires no up-front training to implement and use, enabling merchants to set up their shops in less than 15 minutes," Shopify said in its filing.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.