Shopify Inc. (SHOP -0.77%) has been on quite a roll lately, and expectations were high going into the release of its financial results. The company, which provides software for small and medium-sized business to create e-commerce websites, has been on fire since it first went public in mid-2015. The stock had risen an impressive 115% since its IPO, so the bar was set pretty high, but Shopify didn't disappoint.

For the just-completed quarter, Shopify produced revenue that grew to $151.65 million, up 75% year over year, while its net loss grew to $14.03 million, which amounted to a loss per share of $0.15. The company has continued to focus on growth rather than profitability at these early stages. 

A laptop, tablet, and smartphone displayed on a wooden desk.

Shopify's multi-platform approach continues to attract new merchants. Image source: Shopify.

Solid growth across a variety of metrics

Subscription revenue of $71.6 million increased 64% over the prior-year quarter, while merchant solutions -- which includes payments and shipping -- jumped 86% year over year. Perhaps the most telling metric was the increase in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to $23.7 million, up 64% over the prior-year quarter, which now represents 16% of Shopify's total revenue. The company's ability to continually increase MRR will provide Shopify with stable, consistent growth in the future.

Shopify had forecast revenue in a range of $142 to $144 million and a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) operating loss in a range of $18 million to $20 million, but the company blew away even its own optimistic projections. CFO Russ Jones commented: "The fundamental shift in retail toward multi-channel and mobile, the ongoing adoption of Shopify by larger brands, and our continued focus on building out the market-leading platform for sellers all contributed to the strength of our results this past quarter."

The company pointed out a few other notable metrics that illustrate Shopify's compelling growth story. Gross merchandise volume (GMV) -- which represents the total sales by merchants on the company's platform -- grew to $5.8 billion, an increase of 74% over the prior-year quarter. The total payments processed on its system as measured by gross payments volume (GPV) jumped to $2.2 billion, representing 38% of GMV. The number of merchants using the company's platform crested 500,000, an increase of 67% year over year.

A small white credit card reader.

Shopify's Chip and Swipe card reader is free to new and existing merchants. Image source: Shopify.

New solutions for business keep coming

Shopify continues to expand its offerings in an effort to provide merchants with a one-stop shop for their e-commerce needs. The company began shipping pre-orders of its Chip and Swipe Readers, which it made free to new and existing merchants that had not yet redeemed a free reader.

Shopify Capital, which provides merchants with cash advances, issued $37.2 million in short-term loans, nearly double the amount from the previous quarter. Thus far, the company has made over $95 million in cumulative cash advances.

It's also important to note that while the focus remains squarely on small and medium-sized businesses, the company has expanded its solutions for large, high-volume merchants with Shopify Plus. Enterprise businesses currently account for $4.3 million or 18% of MRR, and this could provide the company with an additional catalyst for future growth.

Looking ahead

Shop announced that its CFO, Russ Jones, would retire after being with the company since 2011, though he will stay with the company for the next 12 months while his replacement is hired and transitioned into the role.

For the coming quarter, Shopify expects revenue in the range of $164 million to $166 million and a GAAP operating loss in the range of $17 million to $19 million. This would put next quarter's revenue growth at 66% year over year at the midpoint. Shopify has beaten analyst expectations for nine consecutive quarters, using the time honored tradition of under-promising and over-delivering.

Shopify continues to entice new merchants and value proposition to current ones. The company has executed nearly flawlessly over the last two years, and both Shopify and investors have prospered.