Spotlight Shopify: Funding a New Generation of Merchants – Knowledge Leaders Capital


Shopify is a leader in commerce solutions that allow merchants to set up online stores and sell their products. The firm’s tools power millions of entrepreneurs in more than 175 countries including brands as large as Netflix, Allbirds, and Tupperware.

The firm was founded in 2006 in Ottawa, Canada, when current CEO Tobi Lütke built the software necessary to launch an online snowboard store and soon realized the software was more valuable than the snowboards. He pivoted and launched the Shopify platform. Today, the firm offers e-commerce packages for large brands through small startups, with monthly subscriptions ranging from $9 to $2,000, based on features.

This Knowledge Leader’s innovation strategy focuses on constantly adding new product features, especially related to platform compatibility. Over the last year, it has enabled payments via Spotify, Twitter and YouTube as well as Tap-to-Pay via iPhones. The firm also encourages innovation within its partner ecosystem, with thousands of apps, plus new capabilities designed to make shopping and shipping faster and more convenient. The more merchants that join the platform and generate transactions, the more economies of scale Shopify passes on to its merchant community. In another initiative aimed at fueling growth, Shopify in 2016 launched an in-house venture capital arm which has so far provided nearly $4B in first-round funding to Shopify entrepreneurs in the US, UK, and Canada. As of last year, Shopify ranked No. 2 in US retail ecommerce sales with 10 percent share behind No. 1 Amazon.

As of 6/30/22, Shopify was not held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

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