Skip to main content

Last month's highly successful $150-million U.S. initial public offering by Ottawa retail software company Shopify Inc. has drawn out some interesting, big-name institutional investors.

A regulatory filing this week shows that New York investment adviser Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC has amassed 1.5 million of Shopify's class A subordinate voting shares, amounting to 16.5 per cent of the total of the class. GG&H said it has purchased even more than it manages on behalf of clients' managed accounts. In a separate filing, Fidelity Management & Research Co. said it and related entities have picked up 1.26 million Shopify shares as of May 31, or 14 per cent of those sold in the IPO.

The Shopify IPO was a hit out of the gate, opening trading on May 21 two-thirds higher than its $17 offering price and closing up 51 per cent on the day on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock, with a float of less than nine million subordinate voting shares (a lockup on existing multiple voting shareholders ends in a few months), had a similar pop on its Canadian trading debut that day on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have traded briskly since then and edged higher, and at press time were valued at $34.45 on the TSX.

The IPO instantly established Shopify as Ottawa's most valuable publicly traded high-tech firm, surpassing established communications firm Mitel Networks Corp.