Shopify acquires Handshake, marking its third acquisition in six months

Shopify Unite Tobi Lütke

Shopify has acquired New York-based B2B ecommerce wholesale platform Handshake, to be integrated into the Canadian ecommerce giant’s growing Shopify Plus offering.

Shopify had not originally planned to announce the deal but news broke of the acquisition on Thursday after it was revealed by TechCrunch. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a source told TechCrunch that it was less than $100 million USD.

“We expect to see continued and increasing consolidation in the ecommerce sector going forward.”
-Mark MacLeod, founder of SurePath Capital

SurePath Capital Partners, led by Mark MacLeod, was the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Handshake on the sale, and released a statement on Friday announcing the deal after the news broke. He noted that Shopify’s acquisition of Handshake brings “significant product capability and domain expertise” to Shopify Plus and its growing market of larger merchants.

As part of the acquisition Handshake’s team will now be operating as part of Shopify Plus, with its founder and CEO Glen Coates joining as director of product for Shopify Plus.

“Handshake is now a part of Shopify,” a company spokesperson confirmed to BetaKit, stating, “We consider acquisitions in the normal course of business as we focus on making commerce better for everyone.”

Founded in 2010, Handshake’s B2B ecommerce platform was designed to help suppliers connect with customers, by making it easier for direct supplier-to-customer orders. According to Yahoo Finance, it had previously raised $23.5 million USD in VC funding from investors including Uncork Capital, Sozo Ventures, Primary Venture Partners, and Boldstart Ventures.

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This is the second acquisition in five months for the Ottawa-based ecommerce company, after it quietly acquired Toronto-based video messaging for businesses service in January. As part of that deal, Helpful’s co-founders Daniel Debow, David Pardy, and Farhan Thawar took on senior roles at Shopify with the overall team also becoming part of the company. Debow joined as VP of corporate development, alongside Pardy who became Shopify’s corporate development manager, with Thawar taking on the role VP of engineering role.

Debow announced the move in a January blog post, stating that over the course of a couple weeks it was shutting down one its main products and helping customers transition to new software.

Both the Helpful and Handshake deals follow Shopify’s acquisition of Swedish startup Tictail in November. Tictail’s marketplace, allowing users to shop for clothing, home decor, and art from emerging small businesses around the world, helped Shopify buildout its consumer marketplace.

MacLeod, noting that SurePath was also the financial advisor for Shopify’s acquisition of Tictail, stated that he expects to see a continued and increasing consolidation in the ecommerce sector.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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