The future of Square: IPOs, Starbucks, and China
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has stayed mum since the big IPO announcement -- legally he's not allowed to talk about it. But yesterday he sat down with Bloomberg TV for a 20-minute interview. He still couldn't discuss Twitter's IPO, but he chatted about a range of other topics from why he likes Detroit to how Square grapples with government regulations.
The interview was a glimpse into the future for Square, Dorsey's project since 2009. Notably, Dorsey discussed when Square might have its IPO, saying, "We do not think about that." Instead, Square is building discipline and structure within the company, so that it's ready "at any moment" to go through such an event. In terms of future international expansion, Square is eyeing both the Chinese and European markets, but Dorsey stayed mum as to which one they've chosen. He did, however, admit, “We love China."
Moving into different countries is more difficult for Square, as a hardware startup, then other companies. Software startups can translate their program into different languages and see wide adoption quickly. But Square "actually [has] to have relationships within each market with the acquiring banks and the issuing banks.”
Square does not intend to target bigger retail locations at the moment, even though chains like Starbucks and Burberry have approached Square and are using its application. “Well, the greatest thing about Starbucks was they came to us," Dorsey says. "We don't necessarily have a partnerships team which goes out to all these larger merchants." Dorsey is still focusing on small to medium retailers, with one to ten stores.
Lastly, Dorsey said he hasn't rejected the idea of lowering the 2.75 percent fee the startup charges retailers, to make the company more competitive. Square is always considering pricing, but at the end of the day, "We don't see ourselves building a payments company," Dorsey says. "We see ourselves building a commerce company, and payments is just one tiny little part of that."
See the rest of the Bloomberg interview here.
[Image via Wikimedia]