Here’s Why Shopify’s IPO Was a Winner and Etsy’s Just Fizzled

NEW YORK (RealMoneyPro) -- What a difference an IPO's business can make!

Some can be fantastic performers, while every now and again we get one that flops out of the gate. Nothing captures that better than the recent IPO of online goods seller Etsy  (ETSY), which has seen the company's shares fall more than 40% since the offering, and Shopify  (SHOP), a software that helps retailers sell goods online, that saw its shares vault higher on the first day of trading after pricing the offering at $17 per share.

At first blush you might say "oh, they both sell products online," but that would be a mistake. While Etsy is more or less a portal that enables "people to connect, make, sell and buy products," Shopify is the enabling software that has allowed small and medium size companies to get their business up and running on the web or mobile platforms.

Lifting from Shopify's registration statement with the Securities Exchange Commission, we find "The total number of merchants using our platform grew from 41,295 as of December 31, 2012 to 162,261 as of March 31, 2015." If you're looking for examples of Shopify's customer base, take a look at pages 93-94 in the registration statement.

As you peruse that filing, you'll start to see these two companies could not be more different than chocolate and peanut butter -- and at least for now there is no Reese's Peanut Butter Cup stock that brings those two flavors together.

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