Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) reported first-quarter financial results on April 30. The leading multichannel commerce platform is benefiting from the growth of entrepreneurship around the world.

Shopify results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2019

Q1 2018

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$320.5 million

$214.3 million

50%

Net loss

($24.2 million)

($15.9 million)

N/A

Net loss per share

($0.22)

($0.16)

N/A

Data source: Shopify Q1 2019 earnings press release.

What happened with Shopify this quarter?

Shopify is helping many small -- and, increasingly, large -- businesses successfully grow their operations. The total amount of sales made by all the merchants on Shopify's platform, known as gross merchandise volume (GMV), surged 50% year over year to $11.9 billion.

"The information age is rapidly changing how commerce is done and by whom," CEO Tobias Lutke said in a press release. "By harnessing these changes to empower entrepreneurs, Shopify is meeting a need that is not only global and growing, but that is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future."

To Lutke's point, Shopify's customer base continues to expand. The number of businesses on Shopify's platform now exceeds 800,000, spread across approximately 175 countries. These customer gains are fueling the company's subscription revenue, which climbed 40% to $140.5 million in the first quarter.

Moreover, Shopify is finding new ways to provide value to its customers with an ever-growing array of services. More than 40% of eligible businesses in the U.S. and Canada now use Shopify's shipping service. Cash advances and loans issued by Shopify Capital rose 45% to $87.8 million in the first quarter. And gross payments volume -- the amount of GMV processed through Shopify Payments -- increased 63% to $4.9 billion. In turn, Shopify's merchant solutions revenue soared 58% to $180 million.

A businessperson pointing to an upwardly-sloping chart

Shopify is enjoying robust growth. Image source: Getty Images.

Still, Shopify remains unprofitable on a GAAP basis. The company generated a GAAP operating loss of $35.8 million, compared to a loss of $20.3 million in the year-ago period, as it continues to invest aggressively in its expansion initiatives.

"Entrepreneurs and enterprises alike recognize that Shopify's merchant-driven mission helps them build their most successful business and thrive in an ever-changing retail landscape," CFO Amy Shapero said. "That's why we continue to invest in our platform, expanding our product and feature set, and the overall Shopify experience -- making commerce easier, more accessible, and better for everyone, everywhere."

Looking forward

Based in part on its strong first-quarter growth, Shopify raised its 2019 full-year forecast. Management now expects:

  • Revenue of $1.48 billion to $1.50 billion, up from a previous estimate of $1.46 billion to $1.48 billion
  • GAAP operating loss of $130 million to $140 million, versus an earlier range of $140 million to $150 million
  • Adjusted operating income -- which excludes share-based compensation expenses -- of $20 million to $30 million, up from $10 million to $20 million

"We're off to an incredible start this year, as more merchants around the globe choose Shopify to start, grow, and manage their businesses," Shapero said.