Two unicorns, Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify and Israeli e-commerce marketing startup Yotpo, have signed a multi-year platform partnership, with Shopify also making a strategic investment in the business.
Yotpo announced on September 9 that Shopify’s strategic investment will help accelerate Yotpo’s growth and product development. Shopify currently uses five of Yotpo’s products.
Although the amount of the investment was not disclosed, the Israeli publication Globes reported that Shopify is investing $ 30 million in Yotpo. It is not known whether the investment was in US or Canadian dollars.
âYotpo is one of the most influential partners in our ecosystem and their apps are used by hundreds of thousands of merchants. “
“Glad to share our strategic investment and long term partnership with @Yotpo”, Brandon Chu, vice president of product acceleration at Shopify, Tweeted. âYotpo is one of the most influential partners in our ecosystem and their apps are used by hundreds of thousands of merchants on Shopify. “
The partnership aims to position Yotpo as one of the first launch partners for new Shopify development features. In this role, Yotpo aspires to develop cutting-edge technologies that will help marketers of all sizes stand out in a competitive landscape.
The two companies will strive to develop seamlessly connected shopping experiences and improve the one-to-one relationship between merchants and their customers.
The ad described Yotpo as “one of the greatest success stories in the Shopify ecosystem, a community of developers and partners who build apps that support more than
1.7 million traders.
Yotpo is just Shopify’s latest investment as the Ottawa-based company strives to strengthen its ecosystem with funds and acquisitions. In July, Shopify, along with CRV and Renegade Partners, led a $ 65 million Series B funding round, investing in Loop, a U.S. startup providing a priority trading platform for Shopify brands.
Shopify’s strategy is to invest capital in companies that support the Shopify merchant ecosystem, such as Tapcart and Swyft.
This year alone, Shopify has also invested in Pipe, Bench and Co-op commerce. The company also acquired stakes in Stripe and Affirm, the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) retail FinTech company, the two companies that Shopify partners with. Affirm went public earlier this year in a $ 1.2 billion Initial Public Offering (IPO), giving Shopify a nearly $ 2 billion windfall, and Shopify’s investment in Stripe would be of about $ 350 million.
Shopify also recently acquired the team behind Primer, an Oakland-based augmented reality home design app. The deal marked Shopify’s first publicly announced acquisition since acquiring three companies in 2019, in a six-month period.
RELATED: Shopify Invests in US-Based Loop’s $ 65 Million Round
The strategy paid off. In July, Shopify announced its first-quarter revenue of $ 1 billion, and in August, the company announced that it was expanding its partnership with TikTok, allowing consumers to browse and experience products from Shopify merchants directly through the TikTok app.
Even though Shopify has attracted more partners to its ecosystem, the ecommerce platform has seen a flow of executives leaving the company in recent months. The most recent departure was Janeen Speer, former Vice President of Talent at Shopify, who accepted a position as Director of Human Resources at Calgary-based Benevity Inc.
Loren Padelford, chief revenue officer and vice president of Shopify Plus, announced he was leaving the company in June.
Other departures in 2021 include Shopify’s general manager for United States West, Lynsey Thornton, who left after an eight-year tenure with the company. In April, three top executives left, including Brittany Forsyth, Chief Talent Officer, Joe Frasca, Chief Legal Officer and Jean-Michel Lemieux, Chief Technology Officer.
Shopify uses Yotpo’s marketing services such as SMS Marketing, Loyalty, Referrals, Reviews, and Visual UGC (User Generated Visual Content). The latter combines customer reviews, photos and videos of the merchant on screens.
The company is also a partner of Facebook, which uses Yotpo’s Visual UCG in Facebook ads and to help drive traffic to merchant websites.
Common Yotpo and Shopify customers include Steve Madden, Princess Polly, Brooklinen, ThirdLove, UNTUCKit, Chubbies, Sol de Janeiro, Alkaline Herb Shop, and Parks Project.
Engineers Tomer Tagrin and Omri Cohen founded Yotpo in 2011. Since then, the company has more than 550 people with funding of $ 384 million.
The Calcalist reported that Yotpo is valued at $ 1.4 billion and is preparing to go public on the Nasdaq. Calcalist said Yotpo aims to raise $ 400 million to $ 500 million with its IPO, which is slated for early 2022.