Economic analysis

Shopify shares soar in first trading after initial public offering

Ottawa-based e-commerce company's IPO at US$17 per share raised $131 million

TORONTO – Investors are flocking to Shopify Inc.’s stock market debut sending the company’s shares soaring.

The Ottawa-based e-commerce company’s IPO at US$17 per share raised $131 million, more than the company expected.

The shares opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $28 and reached a high of $28.74 before retreating to around $25.28 at midday.

Shopify (TSX:SH) allows anyone to sell products via the Internet. The company targets small and medium-sized business with software for designing, building, and managing sales across the web, mobile applications and stores.

InfoTech Research Group senior analyst Ben Dickie says the company is attractive because of its presence in the “hot space” of mobile payments.

Unlike other tech companies that have listed on the stock market such as Facebook, he says Shopify has a clear business model and an obvious potential for revenue growth.

Regulatory filings show that Shopify lost $22.3 million last year compared to $4.8 million in 2013. Its revenue more than doubled to $105 million.

The company said it handled $3.8 billion in transactions in 2014.

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