On this date five years ago you could have purchased a share in Canadian e-commerce darling Shopify for CAD $35. Today Shopify (TSX:SHOP) trades at CAD $1,350 per share.
If you had purchased $10,000 worth of Shopify for your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) that year it would be worth over $385,000 today. Tax free.
While that dream of making millions on Shopify firsthand has likely sailed, maybe there are other ways to leverage Shopify’s success in the next wave of e-commerce upstarts.
Today, not one, but two B.C.-based e-commerce companies began trading on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) and both namedrop Shopify in their pitch.
EMERGE is a rapidly growing acquirer and operator of e-commerce assets including well-known Canadian brands WagJag and Buytopia. Their properties span niche verticals from groceries to golf to staycations and they claim to connect 2 million people with 12,000 merchants across North America.
Led by CEO Ghassan Halazon, EMERGE has an impressive team that includes Board Chairman Drew Green (CEO of Indochino) and advisor Michelle Romanow (CBC Dragon & co-founder of Clearbanc). In advance of there reverse take over to go public EMERGE raised a $10 million private placement.
“EMERGE has demonstrated the success of growth through consolidation. There are so many fantastic e-commerce startups across Canada and we’re excited to continue to work with these founders to optimize and grow their brands under the EMERGE umbrella,” said Ghassan Halazon, Founder and CEO. “It’s no secret that Amazon is building a retail empire. In recent years, investors have come to know Shopify for ‘arming the rebels’, in reference to the rise of bootstrapped e-commerce brands. Our vision is to have EMERGE prevail as the preeminent acquirer of the quality rebels out there.”
WeCommerce is led by CEO Chris Sparling and controlled by Tiny Capital’s Andrew Wilkinson. In advance of there reverse take over WeCommerce raised $60 million.
According to a recent press release, “the company’s primary focus is to build, grow and acquire businesses that serve the Shopify Partner ecosystem. These businesses consist largely of Software as a Service, Digital Goods and Services businesses. Generally, these businesses build Apps and Themes and run Agencies that support Shopify merchants.”
As a long-time partner of the Ottawa-born e-commerce giant, WeCommerce says it has confidence in the Shopify platform and believes it is well positioned to continue to identify acquisition opportunities in the Shopify Partner ecosystem.