> Shopify

Building world-changing products from Ottawa

Shopify is a commerce platform built for independent business owners of all sizes to start, sell, market, and manage their businesses online, in-store, and everywhere in between. From small merchants to massive brands including Gymshark, PepsiCo, Allbirds, and many more, Shopify is powering a global economic movement of more than one million entrepreneurs in 175 countries. The company is democratizing commerce by providing ambitious entrepreneurs with powerful tools to be successful and connect directly with customers.

When Tobi Lütke immigrated to Canada from Germany in 2002, he brought with him a cat named Homie, his coding skills, and a desire to become an entrepreneur. Snowboarding was a hobby of his, so he decided to launch an online snowboard store from his new home in Ottawa. He called it Snowdevil. At the time, the internet was new and online stores were few.

The software of the day was clunky, expensive, and hard to use. Instead of relying on an existing solution, Tobi decided to build his own e-commerce software from scratch. The resulting product made it so easy to start an online store that Tobi realized the software was far more valuable than the snowboards could ever be. He called up some friends in Ottawa to join the company, and together they turned his modest snowboard shop into a software-as-a-service company called Shopify—a combination of the words “shop” and “simplify.”

Despite multiple requests from venture capitalists  for Shopify to relocate to Silicon Valley, there’s never been any doubt in Tobi’s mind that Ottawa is the right spot to build a world-beating software company. The city’s highly educated workforce and history of tech innovation makes it a natural home for the company’s headquarters. Shopify is proudly Canadian, and has built the country’s multicultural values into its own company culture by hiring a diverse range of tech talent from Canada and all over the world, and enabling entrepreneurs of all types and sizes in more than 175 countries.

Shopify has built multiple world-class products ranging from Shopify Capital, which provides funding to businesses just getting started, to the Shopify Fulfillment Network that offers business owners fulfillment solutions that used to only be available to the largest companies in the world. Shopify has invested so much into its home country that in 2018, the company contributed 9% of Canada’s total research and development (R&D) spending.

This is more than a Canadian success story, however. Since the early days, Shopify’s team has grown to more than 4,000 employees internationally, and the company’s global reputation has earned high-profile merchants. But even though Shopify has stretched up-market with its enterprise product Shopify Plus, the company has never lost sight of its goal: to allow small, independent business owners the opportunity to compete with giants.

Shopify is driven by its mission to make commerce better for everyone, and that means providing tools and resources that level the playing field so anyone can start and grow their business. When faced with two choices, Shopify takes the path that leads to more entrepreneurs, to enable more voices rather than fewer.

Today, one million businesses use Shopify to sell online, in retail stores, and at pop-up events. Simply put, Shopify makes enterprise-level technology available to businesses of all sizes, whether they want to grow big or stay small. And there’s no better place to build that company than in Canada’s capital city.



Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over one million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Allbirds, Gymshark, PepsiCo, Staples, and many more.


150 Elgin Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2P 1L4

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