Shopify Gets Funding (Again): $15 Million

"Who wants to be a millionaire" scene from "Slumdog Millionaire": "$15 million in funding: the budget for the film Slumdog Millionaire"

Here’s the first paragraph of the press release that Shopify put out this morning:

OTTAWA, Ontario, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Shopify, a leading ecommerce platform used to create and power online stores, today announced that it closed a $15 million Series B growth investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Georgian Partners. This new investment adds to the $7 million of Series A funding received last year, providing a sizable balance to fund continued growth.

Tobi, our CEO, also made the announcement on the Shopify blog.

Here’s a quick run-down of Shopify for those of you who aren’t familiar with what we do:

Shopify logo

Shopify is a hosted ecommerce platform that makes it easy to create an online store and sell products online. It was created out of necessity — when Shopify CEO and co-founder Tobi Lutke and friends wanted to start an online store for snowboarding equipment, they couldn’t find any ecommerce platform they liked. Being software developers, they did what came naturally: they wrote their own. It then occurred to them that it wasn’t snowboards they should be selling, but shops. And thus Shopify was born.

Shopify by the Numbers

"Thousands of Shops": Panoramic view of large shopping center

Creative Commons photo by NeilsPhotography. Click the photo to see the original.

When we say “15,000+ shops run on Shopify”, we mean 15,000+ active shops. These shops aren’t free trials, but active paid accounts actually selling stuff. Among our customers are: Angry Birds, Beastie Boys, CrossFit, DODOcase, Evernote, Evisu, Foo Fighters, GitHub, LMFAO, Penny Arcade and Tesla Motors.

"2.7 million customers in 2010: That's as many people as in the city of Chicago": Photo of Millennium Park showing giant "bean"

In 2010, 2.7 million customers shopped at Shopify shops. To give you an idea of how many people that is, that’s the same number of people that lived within the city of Chicago that year (according to Wikipedia).

"1.6 million orders in 2010": Photo of lines of shopping carts

Creative Commons photo by Jay Reed. Click the photo to see the original.

Those 2.7 million customers placed a total of 1.6 million orders that year. That’s a lot of shopping carts.

"$124 million in sales in 2010: enough to fund one of the Deathly Hallows movies": Harry Potter Lego figures

Creative Commons photo by Mr. Spielbrick. Click the photo to see the original.

Those 1.6 million orders, put together, combine to form a sum of $124 million in sales for 2010. That’s about the budget of each one of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films.

Ecommerce by the Numbers

Let’s talk about Shopify’s field, ecommerce.

"Ecommerce is the tip of the retail iceberg: It's less than 5% of all retail sales, but growing twice as quickly)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, ecommerce represents less than 5% of all retail sales in America, but growing at twice the rate.

Chart showing steady growth of ecommerce in the U.S. from 2002 to 2011

In the second quarter of this year – that’s just the months of April, May and June 2011 – the total retail sales in the U.S. was just over $1 trillion ($1.04 trillion, if you want to be a little more exact).

"$1 Trillion: Total retail sales in the US for 2Q 2011": Graphic showing how much $1 trillion is

(If you need an idea of how much $1 trillion is, PageTutor has a great graphic explanation.)

"$1 billion (10 standard shipping pallets stacked with $100 bills) times 48

Ecommerce was just a tiny slice of that $1 trillion in three months, but still respectable. In the second quarter of 2011, ecommerce sales in the U.S. were $48 billion.

"Ecommerce Growth: Twice Retail's": Big dog beside little dog

And wilder still: sales through ecommerce are growing at twice the rate of all retail. In the second quarter of 2011, total retail sales grew by 8.1%; ecommerce sales in the same period grew by 17.6%.

For more about ecommerce, check out the U.S. Census Bureau’s report on retail ecommerce for 2Q 2011 [PDF].

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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