Shopify files for dual US-Canada IPO

Shopify has filed an F-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a preliminary prospectus with the regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada.

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Cloud-based ecommerce platform Shopify has finally made its IPO plans official.

The Ottawa, Ontario-based company on Tuesday took the first steps to launch a dual US-Canada IPO.

Shopify has filed an F-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a preliminary prospectus with the regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada.

Shopify said it will apply to list its Class A subordinate voting shares on both the tech-heavy New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols SHOP and SH, respectively.

No terms were given for the number of shares to be sold or the price range for the proposed offering. But according to estimates, Shopify could look to raise around $100 million at a $1 billion valuation.

In the SEC filing, Shopify said it plans to use the increase in capital to boost the company's visibility on the marketplace, fund its growth strategy, and increase investment in sales, marketing and research and development.

Founded in 2006, Shopify currently employs 500 in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. The company generally targets small business merchants, providing access to customizable store templates, marketing tools, sales analytics and inventory management to help merchants with the jump from physical to online retail.

From the SEC filing:

We built our platform from the ground up to address the growing challenges facing merchants, with the aim of making previously complex tasks simple. The Shopify platform has been engineered to enterprise-level standards and functionality while being designed for simplicity and ease-of-use. Our platform provides merchants with an intuitive user experience that requires no up-front training to implement and use, enabling merchants to set up their shops in less than 15 minutes.

Shopify also disclosed key bits of financial information in the filing. The company said its total revenue for the three months ending March 31 was $37.3 million, a year-over-year increase of 98.5 percent. The company made $105.0 million in revenue last year, $50.3 million in 2013, and $23.7 million in 2012.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets are lead underwriters on the deal, according to the SEC filing.

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