Square lands $100M investment, value surges to $1B
Square has completed a new venture financing round totaling $100 million, vaulting the mobile payment juggernaut's valuation to more than $1 billion. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the new round, with participation from Tiger Global Management. In February 2011, Square closed a $27.5 million round led by Sequoia Capital.
Square, the mobile transaction company, is now valued at $1 billion.
First introduced for the iPhone in late 2009, Square (recently named one of the year's top mobile startups by sister publication FierceWireless) enables small businesses and other users to accept credit and debit purchases by swiping cards through a small dongle that plugs into the device's audio jack. Square charges a fee of 2.75 percent on each transaction, and promises users no contracts, monthly fees or hidden costs.
Late last month, Square unveiled Register, a point-of-sale application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet that offers a full-featured, touch-enabled retail checkout alternative to traditional cash register and credit card terminal hardware. The free Square Register app provids businesses with new tools to manage sales, check daily transactions, update pricing, automate checkout, generate digital receipts and maintain virtual storefronts. Square COO Keith Rabois told The Wall Street Journal that Square now processes almost $4 million in payments each day, and expects to process $1 billion in payment volume within a year.
Tech consultancy Yankee Group forecasts global mobile transactions will grow to $984 billion in 2014, up from $162 billion in 2010. Square, however, faces stiff competition from the likes of Isis, the joint venture established by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA in late 2010. Another challenger: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet, which aligns the digital services giant with U.S. network partner Sprint (NYSE:S) and financial services providers MasterCard, Citi and First Data to enable subscribers to purchase goods and redeem coupons and loyalty rewards via Android smartphones. Last week, eBay-owned PayPal projected its 2011 mobile total payments volume will reach $3 billion.
- read this Wall Street Journal article
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