Square had a bit of a rough 2010, but it looks like things are turning around for the mobile payment company. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the company just closed a new $27.5 million round of funding, quadrupling its valuation and setting it up for the year ahead.
Over the past year, Square, which was founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has run into a series of snags, from credit card dongles that didn't work with the iPhone 4 to a lawsuit over the origins of that self-same dongle.
While we commented that the temporary fix to the iPhone 4 dongle (a piece of paper) didn't inspire confidence in a realm where confidence is already hard to come by, Sequoia Capital appears to see things different - to the tune of $27.5 million. The funding raises Square's previous valuation of $45 million to around $240 million. As part of the funding deal, writes Pui-Wing Tam for the Journal, "Sequoia Capital venture capitalist Roelof Botha, a former CFO of PayPal and one of the investors who backed online video site YouTube, will join Square's board."
When we first wrote about Square six months ago, the common refrain was "Who would trust using their phone to make payments?" Now, there are a number of other companies getting into the mobile payments game, as our own Sarah Perez surveyed earlier today, and the funding is indicating a confidence on at least one important end of the spectrum.
According to the WSJ, Square has also seen anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 companies sign up to use the service since it opened its doors last October. With companies signing up, funding coming in the door, we only have to wonder one thing - how long will it be before we actually run into this thing in real life? Have you, for one, paid for anything using something like Square?