5 Companies Owned by SQ

Square Inc. (SQ) is a financial technology (fintech) company that provides mobile payments solutions. The startup was founded in 2009 by two veteran entrepreneurs, Twitter Inc. (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. Their aim was to enable merchants to accept card payments electronically, a capability that had previously been inaccessible to many businesses. Square also was an industry leader in creating technology capable of aggregating merchant services and mobile payments into a single, easy-to-use service. Today, Square operates both a Seller Ecosystem and Cash Ecosystem. The Seller Ecosystem helps sellers start, run, and grow their businesses by offering a range of tools, including point of sale, virtual terminal, invoice, and other types of business management and financial software. The Cash Ecosystem offers a Cash App, which provides financial products and services aimed at helping individuals manage their money. In 2019, Square processed a total of $106.2 billion in gross payment volume generated by nearly 2.3 billion card payments. In the same year, the company posted $375.4 million in net income on $4.7 billion in net revenue.

While still a relatively young company, Square has been busy over the past decade expanding its financial ecosystems through a number of strategic acquisitions. Those acquisitions have helped to boost the company’s global operations, diversify its product and service offerings, and expand its reach into next-generation technologies. Most recently, Square agreed to buy Credit Karma Tax, the tax business of Credit Karma Inc.

Below, we look in more detail at 5 of Square’s most important acquisitions. The company does not provide a breakdown of how much profit or revenue each acquisition currently contributes.

Stitch Labs Inc.

  • Type of Business: Operations Management Software
  • Acquisition Price: Financial terms not disclosed
  • Acquisition Date: July 10, 2020

Tech startup Stitch Labs was founded in 2011 by Brandon Levey, Jake Gasaway, and Michelle Laham. The company operates a commerce operations management platform, providing businesses with inventory and order management, channel management, and fulfillment solutions. In May 2014, Stitch Labs and Square began integrating their separate platforms. The partnership enabled businesses using Square’s mobile payments platform to begin tracking inventory, invoices, and shipping information via Stitch Labs’ platform. In July 2020, Square acquired the startup for an undisclosed amount. Square plans to continue offering Stitch Labs’ products until the spring of 2021. However, Stitch Labs will no longer accept new customers and will begin to focus on building out Square tools as it phases out its own products and platform.

Weebly Inc.

  • Type of Business: Website Building Platform
  • Acquisition Price: Approximately $272.5 million
  • Acquisition Date: May 31, 2018 (completed)

Weebly, a San Francisco-based tech startup, was founded in 2007. The company offers a global platform that simplifies for users the process of building a unique website, blog, or online store. Weebly currently serves millions of businesses on over 50 million sites globally. In May 2018, Weebly was acquired by Square in a cash-and-stock deal worth $272.5 million. Square said that by combining Weebly’s web-building tools with its own in-person and online offerings, it will be able to provide merchants with the ability to start or expand an omnichannel business. The acquisition will also expand Square’s global customer base and add a new recurring revenue stream.

Verse Technologies Inc.

  • Type of Business: Mobile P2P Payments App
  • Acquisition Price: Financial terms not disclosed; estimated between $33.8 million and $56.3 million.
  • Acquisition Date: June 15, 2020

Verse Technologies, a Spain-based tech startup offering mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment solutions, was founded in 2015. The company’s mobile payment app offers users a simple way to send money to their phone contacts for free. It also allows users to request payments from their contacts and to transfer balances from the app to their bank account. By the time Verse was acquired by Square in June 2020, it already had raised $37.6 million of funding from various investors. Prior to the acquisition, Square’s own P2P payment app, named Cash App, was only available in the U.S. and the U.K. The acquisition expands Square’s presence in European countries such as Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. Square said that its main priority going forward was to enable Verse to continue expanding throughout Europe, allowing it to continue operating as an independent business with no immediate change to current products, customers, or operations.

Eloquent Labs

  • Type of Business: Conversational AI Software
  • Acquisition Price: Financial terms not disclosed
  • Acquisition Date: May 7, 2019

Eloquent Labs, a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) services startup, was founded in 2016 by two leading Natural Language Processing (NLP) researchers. The company’s software utilizes AI in order to augment and replace live chat customer support agents employed by e-commerce companies. Eloquent Labs was acquired by Square in May 2019. Square said that Eloquent’s AI technology and team will help it to enhance messaging services across its payments ecosystem. Square has since continued to build upon Eloquent Labs’ AI capabilities. In February 2020, the firm acquired Dessa, a Canada-based tech company that specializes in research and development of emerging AI technologies. 

Third Party Trade LLC

  • Type of Business: Online Brokerage
  • Acquisition Price: Financial terms not disclosed
  • Acquisition Date: 2019 

Third Party Trade, an Oregon-based online brokerage, was founded in 2015 by Michael Giles. The company provides an application programming interface (API) platform for building investing-related financial applications. Financial media firm Benzinga reported in 2019 that, according to a source familiar with the matter, Third Party Trade was being acquired by Square. While very little public information is available about the deal, founder Michael Giles confirmed the sale to Square on his LinkedIn page and said he began working full-time for Square in February of 2019. Following the acquisition, Third Party Trade was subsequently renamed Cash App Investing LLC, which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  In late October 2019, Square introduced free stock trading on its Cash App, to be administered through the newly formed Cash App Investing LLC.