6 Things You Should Know About Square’s $275 Million IPO

Payments startup Square has filled for a $275 million IPO. We have curated 6 major declarations from the IPO filing


Twitter recently decided to appoint co-founder Jack Dorsey as its CEO, after Dick Costolo had to step down earlier this year. Jack wasn’t the first choice as he was also holding the CEO chair of Square, financial services, merchant services aggregator and mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California.

Founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square had launched its first app and service in 2010 and earlier announced that it was going for IPO later this year; primary reason why Jack didn’t want to leave Square. While Twitter decided to go ahead with Jack while dividing his time at Twitter and Square; the payments startup has filed its IPO for $275 million.

Though the amount is likely to increase, the company intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “SQ.” This also means Jack becomes the rare CEO in charge of two publicly traded businesses simultaneously.

Curated below are the 5 major developments from the IPO that you should be aware of:

1. $275 million IPO

Square filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday to raise up to $275 million in a public offering, though that amount will likely increase.

Square revealed in its filing that it lost $154 million in 2014 on net revenue of $850 million, up from a $104 million net loss the year before on net revenue of $552 million. It posted a net loss of $77.6 million through the first six months of this year.

2. Square will hit more than a billion revenues this year

Valued at $6billion, Square made its financials available to the public, and while it’s losing money, its revenues are growing fast. If it keeps going at its current pace, it will lose about $150 million on more than $1 billion in revenue this year.

Here are the most important numbers:

Six-month revenue: $560.5 million (2015) vs. $371.8 million (2014)

Operating loss: $74.4 million (first half of 2015) vs. $79.9 million (first half of 2014)

Net loss: $77.5 million (first half of 2015) vs. $79.3 million (first half of 2014)

Full-year revenue: $850.2 million (2014) vs. $552.4 million (2013)

Cash and cash equivalents: $225.3 million (end of 2014) vs. $166.1 million (end of 2013)

Square charges its sellers a 2.75% transaction fee for “card-present transactions” and 3.5% plus $0.15 per transaction for manually entered transactions. Square says it processed $23.8 billion worth of card payment transactions in 2014.

3. Starbucks deal was a bust

Back in 2012, Square made a big announcement that it inked a deal with the coffee giant Starbucks. Starbucks would invest $25 million in the San Francisco based startup, and its CEO Howard Schultz would join Square’s board. In return, Square would process credit and debit card payments for Starbucks. But the payments processing would just happen on the backend; Starbucks wouldn’t convert to Square’s card-swiping hardware.

At that point of time Square had stated that the deal with Starbucks would be “a valuable catalyst for building best-in-class enterprise infrastructure.” However, in October 2013 Schultz stepped down from the board and in December 2014, Starbucks stopped accepting Square-based mobile payments from shoppers in its stores.

Now the IPO fillings state that the deal was a big bust for Square. Based on Square’s filings, the company appears to have lost more than $56 million dollars on the deal, the difference between revenue earned and the cost of processing transactions for Starbucks over three years.

The agreement will expire in the third quarter of 2016, with zero chances of renewal as this stage.

4. Jack owns 24.4% of Square

Square’s IPO filing also shows that co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is the largest shareholder, owning 24.4 percent of the company.

Co-founder and director Jim McKelvey has a much smaller stake than Jack, owning just 9.4 percent of the company, last valued at $564 million. While notably less than Jack, it is still a greater percentage than Box CEO Aaron Levie, whose 5.7 percent stake was considered low for an active founder.

Khosla Ventures one of the Silicon Valley investors has by far the biggest stake for a venture capital firm, owning 17.3 percent, or roughly $1 billion. Vinod Khosla is on Square’s board of directors.

5. Jack giving up 30% to undeserved communities

While Jack is making money from the IPO, he has also revealed that he has committed a considerable percentage of his equity to help further the company’s potential to “drive positive impact” over the course of his lifetime. Over the past two years, he has given up 15 million shares, or 20 percent of his equity, back to Square and he has committed to giving an additional 10 percent in the future.

The equity is being routed to Start Small Foundation, a new organization created by Dorsey that’ll invest in artists, musicians, local businesses, aimed at those undeserved communities around the world. All his donated shares are up for grabs and sold by his organization, which will give Square customers the ability to buy into Start Small’s program and support Dorsey’s efforts.

6. Square lists Jack’s CEO role at Twitter as a risk factor

Interestingly, the company has listed CEO Jack Dorsey’s relationship with Twitter as one of the risk factors.

Square states in its IPO fillings: “Jack Dorsey, our co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Twitter. This may at times adversely affect his ability to devote time, attention, and effort to Square.”

Twitter may have gone ahead with Jack but Square definitely acknowledges it and only the future will tell how successful Jack will be in running both the companies.