Founded out of Ottawa, Canada in 2004, Shopify offers a cloud-based commerce platform designed to make it easier for companies to set up shop online, though it also caters to in-store transactions with a point-of-sale system to accept card payments.
The new Shopify Capital program is limited to those in the U.S. for now and can be used for pretty much anything involving growing a company, such as buying equipment, increasing stock, launching new products, and hiring staff. Merchants get easier access to capital, while Shopify makes money by stimulating business among its merchants — it charges fees for processing payments and transactions. In other words, what’s good for the merchant is good for Shopify.
It’s also worth noting here that these are cash advances, not loans, meaning there are no set monthly payments, and banks aren’t involved — repayments are made automatically through sales made between the merchant and its customers. So the more sales they make, the quicker the advance is repaid.
“For many merchants, securing capital is a frustrating and time-consuming process,” said Saad Atieque, Shopify product manager, in a press release. “With Shopify Capital, we’re giving entrepreneurs a simple, fast, and convenient way to secure financing to invest in their business.
Shopify is the latest in a line of ecommerce companies to offer loans or cash advances to merchants. Amazon has offered loans to online sellers since 2012, while mobile payments company Square launched Square Capital back in 2014.