Mobile payment innovator Square is looking for another $200 million in funding in a deal that would value the entire company at $3.25 billion, a testament to just how powerful the once-lonely startup has become. These days, the Square brand is one of the most recognized brands in the mobile space and has spawned no shortage of copycats looking to follow after the empire it has created.
It seems so simple - it's a dongle that attaches to the headphone jack of a smartphone and turns the phone into a mobile credit card terminal. It lets anyone - small businesses or even individual users - accept plastic from friends or customers. Square has turned that into an enormous business, and it has managed to break apart monopolies that used to exist in the world of credit card processing companies.
This latest round of funding will be Square's third in just the last two years. The company has been very busy, and of course it can't rest on its laurels because every other player in the financial space is trying to create its own Square rival, so Square is staying on its toes and continuing to innovate. One of its biggest success stories was getting approval to include Square credit card readers in New York City taxicabs, where Verifone previously had monopolistic power and charged cab drivers fees that were above industry averages. That's just the beginning of the Square revolution.