Shopify wants a Bigger Pie of Proximity Payments, POS with $100 Million Funding

On 13th December 2013, Shopify announced that it had closed $100 Mn in a new round of funding. The Series C round was led by Investment firm Insight Venture Partners and Canadian Pension Fund OMERS. Shopify aims to challenge e-commerce biggies like Amazon and eBay in the field of merchant software & services.

Shopify was founded in 2006 by Tobias lutke (CEO), Daniel Weinand and Scott lake. The company has received $22 Mn in Series A and B funding from Bessemer venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Felicis venture and Georgian Partners. The new round of funding brings its total to $122 Mn. Currently more than 60,000 retailers in over 100 different countries operate on Shopify’s platform. Some of them are Gatorade, Tesla Motors, Forbes, Encyclopedia Britannica, Amnesty International, and CrossFit among others.

This video gives you an overview of Shopify’s platform:

Shopify’s traction has increased tremendously over the last year. The company stated that $63.6 Mn transactions had been made through its online stores during Cyber Monday 2013, as compared to $23.8 Mn in 2012. Shopify tried to place a foothold in offline commerce last year with the introduction of Popify and a POS system that works on iPad. The company looks to become a starting point for merchants to establish businesses offline and online.

The future of retail isn’t just online, we want to make it easier for everyone from bricks and mortar business to online retailers and farmers’ markets to sell their products, said Harley Finklestein, CPO at Shopify. When you look at POS products, everything has been silo’ed off and Shopify wants to become the ‘hub’ in the middle, he added.

Shopify began as an easy way to sell products online. We used our previous funding rounds to expand into new areas that enriched our product and helped our merchants, like payments and mobile, said Tobias Lütke. This new round of funding will help us further expand into physical retail with Shopify POS, so our merchants can easily sell their products anywhere at any time.

In recent times, there has been a profusion of Web apps designed for e-commerce sellers and plenty of technical solutions for retailers, but according to Felicis Ventures founder Aydin Senkut, Shopify has successfully ‘bridged clicks to bricks’ which essentially is the Holy Grail of commerce. The company was said to be worth ‘near $1 Billion’ at the time of the deal according to some sources close to the company.

On November 9th 2013, Shopify had announced that it would add the virtual currency Bitcoin as an option of payment for its merchants. Shops that have Bitpay enabled will be able to accept Bitcoin payments from customers. Bitpay processes the payment in the background and converts it to the sellers local currency. The transaction fees are said to be much lower than traditional payment gateways.