Square raises $200 mn to expand mobile platform
Square, the tech startup which allows small businesses to take payments through smartphones, said Monday it has raised $200 million as it gears up for global expansion.
The Dow Jones website AllThingsD said the funding values the San Francisco firm at $3.25 billion.
Square said in a statement the participants in the latest round of funding include Citi Ventures, Rizvi Traverse Management, and Starbucks Coffee Company.
"One year ago, Square had approximately 150 employees and processed over $1 billion in payments on an annualized basis," the statement said.
"Today, Square has over 400 employees and is processing over $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis. Square's growing revenue and workforce precedes the company's plans for international expansion later this year."
Starbucks had earlier this year announced a $25 million investment in Square, and said its coffee shops would allow customers to pay with the Square mobile app, in which customers swipe a card on a dongle that can be plugged into a smartphone or tablet computer.
Square is aiming to snag the 26 million American businesses that do not accept credit cards and is planning to expand outside the United States next year.
Square charges a 2.75 percent fee, on par or lower than merchants would be charged per transaction if they went directly through credit card companies, but has the advantage of no set up costs.
Square says merchants can eliminate the need for cash registers, eventually letting people run small businesses almost entirely from iPads using inventory, billing and other features in software.
The company was named after the small, square magnetic-strip readers plugged into smartphones or iPads to allow people to swipe credit cards. It feeds credit card information to free Square software and avoids the need to rent or buy credit card processing equipment.
(c) 2012 AFP