Money-losing Shopify's market capitalization briefly exceeds value of Canada's largest bank

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      Investors have fallen in love with an Ottawa-based ecommerce company.

      The company offers a platform for more than a million businesses worldwide to operate online stores.

      Created in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinland, and Scott Lake, Shopify went public on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges in 2015 with an initial public offering of US$17 per share.

      This morning, it opened at US$719.94 on the NYSE. Its current market capitalization is US$85.1 billion.

      For a short period, it surpassed the Royal Bank of Canada's market capitalization, but as of this writing, Canada's largest financial institution is back in the lead at US$87.5 billion.

      In its most recent quarterly report, Shopify reported a net loss of $31.4 million and a comprehensive loss of $48 million on revenues of $470 million.

      On February 21, the Royal Bank of Canada reported a net income of $3.5 billion in the first quarter.

      Shopify's share price has received a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is pushing more shoppers online.

      "Now, more than ever, Shopify needs to be there for our merchants, so our focus during these challenging times is to help solve their immediate pain points," CFO Amy Shapero said in a news release. "We are well positioned to help our merchants, particuarly given the accelerated shift to online commerce."

      It reported that new stores created on Shopify grew by 62 percent between March 13 and April 24 compared to the previous six weeks.

      Shopify's stock seems to have gone on steroids, judging by the recent leap in value.