Shopify has made an extensive series of investments in startups so far in 2021.
Its venture capital funding has focused on startups that create tools for small and medium-sized businesses.
This funding is in line with Shopify’s goal of making e-commerce more accessible.
Shopify has invested in a number of e-commerce startups so far this year with the main goal of boosting the business of these small and medium-sized companies.
So far in 2021, the Canadian e-commerce giant has helped fund a startup that helps Shopify sellers create mobile apps, as well as an accounting service, a same-day delivery provider and a maker of a funding product for startups.
Investing in tools that help small and medium-sized businesses fits well with Shopify’s purpose of helping those businesses succeed. Dan Romanoff, an analyst at Morningstar, explains that Shopify’s customer base is “overwhelmingly” made up of those entrepreneurs.
“The more Shopify can ultimately offer to its SMB customer base, the more likely those customers are to succeed.” “The venture capital investments Shopify has been making are focused on companies that serve the SMB community and represent a step toward these goals of growing the ecosystem and having more solutions available to Shopify customers,” Romanoff asserts.
In addition to its investments in small startups, Shopify has closed lucrative partnerships with Global-E and Affirm before both went public this year. Both companies are part of Shopify’s network; Global-E handles cross-border transactions for Shopify, while Affirm is Shopify’s exclusive provider of Shopify’s booming “buy now, pay later” services.
Shopify also has a history of acquiring e-commerce companies and integrating their services into its platform, ultimately making it more attractive to potential customers. On June 11, for example, it acquired the “immersive” experience shopping app Primer. It is not uncommon for companies to end up acquiring startups in which they have invested.
“We invest in companies and technologies in our ecosystem that align with our mission and whose success at scale could have a positive impact on our merchants,” assures a Shopify spokesperson.
These are the startups Shopify has invested in so far this year:
Tapcart, a startup that helps Shopify-powered businesses launch their own mobile apps, announced a $50 million (€42 million) Series B funding round on June 28. Shopify participated in that round.
Tapcart’s code-free app-building program is being used by “thousands” of sellers on Shopify, the company said in a press release.
“We believe brands should be where their customers are, and today that means being on their phones,” says Satish Kanwar, vice president of product acceleration at Shopify, in the same press release. “Tapcart helps merchants create mobile-first shopping experiences that customers love, reinforcing Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone.”
Bench offers accounting services for small businesses and announced a $60 million (about €50 million) Series C on June 3, with Shopify among the investors.
“At Shopify, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses,” said Bram Sugarman, director of corporate development and strategic initiatives at Shopify, in a press release. “That’s why we’re thrilled to participate in Bench’s recent round of funding, which will help them provide professional accounting to even more entrepreneurs so they can focus on growing and serving their customers.”
Swyft is a startup that helps sellers offer same-day delivery by matching them with logistics providers in a marketplace.
It raised a $17.5 million (nearly €15 million) Series A in April, led by Inovia Capital and Forerunner Ventures, as well as having participation from Shopify, Golden Ventures and Trucks VC, TechCrunch reported.
Pipe announced a $50 million (€42 million) strategic equity funding round in March, with Shopify joining the investment along with Slack, HubSpot and Okta, among others. The startup operates a commerce platform that allows companies to convert recurring revenue into seed capital.
“Pipe provides undiluted, founder-friendly funding that is critical to creating more successful entrepreneurs in the future, and both Pipe and Shopify are deeply aligned with that mission,” asserted Brandon Chu, vice president of product at Shopify, in a press release.