Shopify Acquires Select Start Studios

by Joey deVilla on February 1, 2012

mobile phonesThe most recent report released by Pew Internet Research, The Rise of In-Store Mobile Commerce, revealed that 50 percent of shoppers used their smartphones to research purchase decisions over the holidays. Of note were the following statistics:

  • 38% of those surveyed used their smartphones to make a voice call while shopping in a store to ask about a product.
  • 25% used their smartphones to do price comparisons; they were comparing the price of an item in stores to prices for the same item in online shops.
  • 24% used their smartphones to research the products they were shopping for online. I do this all the time at shops. It’s how I picked out my current camera, the Canon ELPH 300HS.

“You can’t win the web without winning mobile,” I told my manager’s manager back when I was at Microsoft (and that’s how I became the Windows Phone Guy on Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team). Now that I’m at Shopify, I’m still waving the mobile flag: you can’t win at ecommerce without winning at mobile. And as of today, we’re a good deal closer to winning.

super nintendo controller select start

Shopify has just announced that it has acquired Select Start Studios, an award-winning mobile development company based in Ottawa with over 35 apps in Apple’s App Store and the Android Market. This acquisition brings over 20 new people and a helluva lot of mobile app skills and brainpower into the Shopifold.

[Update: Here’s TechCrunch’s coverage, and here’s Mashable’s.]

Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke has this to say: “The S3 acquisition brings in top talent that will rapidly deliver on our mobile strategy, and produce several new mobile product offerings this year.”

Tariq Zaid, Select Start’s cofounder and CEO, says “We’re thrilled to be joining Shopify to execute on the company’s mobile initiative. Their focus on mobile, deep understanding of technology, and overall culture make this a natural fit. We’re already cooking up some really exciting innovations that show just how game changing mcommerce will be.”

Welcome aboard, Select Start! I’m looking forward to working with you guys.

horse head cake

Select Start were in the process of building a mobile app for our friends at Toronto-based startup FreshBooks, so technically, they’re now clients of ours. In response they sent us this lovely “horse head in the bed cake” inspired by that classic scene from The Godfather. The message that came with the cake reads: “Nice selection for the start of 2012…you bastard!”

185 rideau street ottawa

Here’s an interesting observation made by Adam McNamara: Shopify was once based at 185 Rideau Street in Ottawa, and that’s where Select Start were based until they joined us. That’s an office with killer startup karma. The question Adam asks is: “Who’s next"?”

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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