Square has closed $150 million in new venture financing, bringing Square’s current value to about $6 billion, the New York Times reported Sunday (Oct. 5). The new financing round was led the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.—a new investor—and included Goldman Sachs and Rizvi Traverse Management.
Like all other payments efforts, Square’s new financing move needs to be seen in the context of a rapidly changing payments environment, giving the recent introduction of Apple Pay, the planned spinoff of PayPal, Alibaba’s huge IPO and Amazon getting into the payment card reader business.
“Square, a six-year-old start-up, spent much of its early years giving away free credit card readers to small and medium-sized businesses, asking for 2.75 percent of each transaction using the reader. The small dongle, square in shape, became especially popular with merchants who had conducted mostly all-cash operations,” the Times story said. “Recently, however, Square has tried to diversify its revenue streams beyond its core payments business. In May, the company introduced Square Capital, a cash advance program for small businesses. Square acquired and continues to run Caviar, a start-up that provides food delivery for restaurants that do not otherwise offer it. And Square offers an appointment booking service to small businesses for a monthly fee.”