Shopify Inc. SHOP-T continues to use its clout as one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms to take a bigger bite out of the spinoff value it has created.
On Tuesday, e-mail marketing startup Klaviyo Inc. said it had taken a strategic investment from Shopify in exchange for becoming “the recommended e-mail solution partner” for the Ottawa company’s Shopify Plus, which services its larger merchant customers. The US$100-million investment, which adds to the US$678-million Klaviyo has previously raised, was made last week, according to a filing by the private Boston company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Klaviyo is a shining example of the outsized impact Shopify’s app and partner ecosystem can have on the next generation of commerce solutions for independent brands,” Shopify president Harley Finkelstein said in a news release.
Klaviyo chief executive and co-founder Andrew Bialecki said in the release: “Partnerships with leading platforms like Shopify that share our values and mission are crucial to how we help solve those challenges creators and brands face. We’re excited about what this continued partnership represents for our customers.”
The deal serves as a reminder that, despite its steep stock slide, slowing growth, impending second-half losses and 10-per-cent staff cut last week, Shopify remains a juggernaut in the online shopping world, rivalling Amazon in North America in terms of the amount of e-commerce that flows through its platform. Gross merchandise volume, or the value of sales through Shopify from its two million-plus merchant customers, was US$46.9-billion in the second quarter ended June 30, up 11 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
Shopify has taken pride in the past that its partners generate far more revenue combined than it does. But in the past two years, Shopify has entered into lucrative agreements with several companies that offer products to the two million merchants that use Shopify to run their stores, and that have scaled up into giants in their own rights.
Shopify in 2020 agreed to make Affirm Holdings Inc. of San Francisco its exclusive provider of “buy-now-pay-later” financing options for its merchants to offer consumers. Last year it reached a similar deal with Israel’s Global-E Online Ltd. to become its exclusive provider of cross-border solutions to its merchants. At their peak last year, those shares were worth billions of dollars. Even after this year’s steep drop in technology valuations, Shopify’s combined stakes in Affirm and Global-E were worth US$801-million as of June 30. In return, Shopify received shares in both companies for pennies apiece before they went public in 2021. It also entered into a multiyear partnership with private Israeli e-commerce marketing company Yotpo Inc. last September in a deal valued at dozens of millions of dollars.
Shopify has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in other companies that have benefited from their relationship with the e-commerce giant, including a US$375-million investment in its payment processor Stripe, Inc. It has also invested, among others, in merchant financing marketplace Pipe Technologies Inc., Toronto’s Swyft Technologies Inc., a same-day delivery software provider and Crossing Minds Inc., a San Francisco startup that enables merchants to offer “personalized experiences” to customers, and Single, Inc., a Nashville startup that provides tools for Shopify merchants to sell music, NFTs and video rentals, and to live stream events on the platform.
Shopify recently closed the largest acquisition in its history, paying US$2.1-billion for Deliverr, a shopping logistics startup, to support its move into providing logistics support for its customers.
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