Normally, I’d simply put an article like this in my tech blog, Global Nerdy, but hey: this is big news, and I work at this place!
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.
Here’s a quick run-down of Shopify for those of you who aren’t familiar with what we do:
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, ecommerce represents less than 5% of all retail sales in America, but growing at twice the rate.
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).
(If you need an idea of how much $1 trillion is, PageTutor has a great graphic explanation.)
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.
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%.