Most Innovative Companies


After surveying the smartphones and favored apps of its employees, the popular e-commerce software platform Shopify realized that three major social hubs--Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest--were missing out on a big retail opportunity. If store owners poured resources into crafting their social profiles, why not enable followers to buy items they coveted with a few taps of a button? To CEO Tobias Lütke, buy buttons were a natural extension of Shopify's mission to support small business owners. Now, more than 275,000 Shopify-powered stores can boost their mobile presence by selling on social media--and anyone can post products to Sello, the company's new app, before committing to the upkeep of a full-blown Shopify store. Though Shopify became a publicly traded company in 2015, its goal is to stay behind the curtain, all the while empowering sellers to simplify the shopping experience--wherever their clientele may be.

2012: Retail
valuation: $1.27 billion as of May 2015
public or private: Public
profitable: No
revenue: Approaching $200 million
staff: 1,000
users: 200,000+ merchants
headquarters: Ottawa, Canada
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