As M-Commerce Continues to Boom, Ottawa's Shopify Eyes Expansion to Mobile

Ottawa startup Shopify is doing well. The successful company has raised millions of dollars in venture capital financing and has rapidly expanded its headcount to a whopping 80 employees, more than double that of just one year ago. But what's next?

Unless you were hiding under a rock for all of 2011, you know that mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is booming. The on-the-go alternative to e-commerce, bigger and more powerful smartphones, tablets, and featherweight instant-on laptops are driving consumers to shop anywhere, anytime. Given that Shopify is in the e-commerce space, testing out the "m" side of things is a natural evolution.

Shopify has over 15,000 online retailers in operation, generating close to $200 million in business last year—all without a defined mobile presence. Now the startup hopes to bring mobile to its clients and boost their sales—and thus its own.

"Over the next few years, mobile-initiated or consummated transactions will be a huge part of what we do, not only from a store administration standpoint, but also making sure that items display the right way," Amish Jani, founder of FirstMark Capital, which invested in Shopify, told the Ottawa Business Journal recently. "Search and discovery needs to happen in a more targeted manner. So yes, we see mobile to be a big area of activity."

There's no date set on this future offering, at least one that the public is aware of. And while it will almost certainly prove a boon for the Ottawa company, there's no immediate rush—with high-end users like Tesla Motors, LMFAO, and Angry Birds, Shopify is doing just fine as it is.

Shopify is a Finalist for Best Overall Canadian Startup of 2011 in the First Annual Canadian Startup Awards presented by KPMG. Vote for them, or others, here.


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Shopify is a leading cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform also provides a merchant with a powerful back-office and a single... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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