Shopify aims to be a titan of commerce both on and off the web.
On Thursday, the Ottawa, Canada-based e-commerce company announced a $100 million funding round led by OMERS Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, with additional participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Georgian Partners, and Felicis Ventures.
The startup previously raised $22 million in 2010 and 2011, though it was bootstrapped for years. The company actually grew out of an online snowboard business — when three friends couldn’t find an easy way to make an online store, they made a platform of their own to help entrepreneurs sell items online.
But now Shopify wants to bridge the gap between physical and digital retail. In August, the company introduced a proprietary point-of-sale (POS) system available through an iPad app for $49 a month. It can keep track of inventory both on and offline — so the company hopes to attract small businesses without an online presence, and maybe even encourage them to create an online shop.
“Whether you’re accepting payments through an iPad, cash register, mobile card reader, or e-commerce site, there should be one central merchant dashboard,” Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s chief platform officer, told VentureBeat. “Most of our competitors only do mobile, or only do physical retail locations, and that’s where we really stand apart.”
The new funding round values the company at around $1 billion, making Shopify Canada’s first Internet startup since the dot com bubble burst to reach a billion dollar valuation. It’s been doubling in size for each of the past four years, and it just signed up customer #80,000 on Wednesday. Most are small businesses, but it also serves major retailers like Tesla Motors, Gatorade, and Budweiser.
Updated on Dec. 12 at 1:35 PM PT with a comment from Shopify
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