Is Square Going Public in 2014? (Nov. 7, 2013)
San Francisco-based Square Inc.—one of many m-POS device providers, but the company with arguably the greatest name recognition—created buzz this week after a report that Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey might take the company public.
On a tip from “a person familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported that Square had discussions with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, among other banks, about an initial public offering in 2014.
Does it make sense for Square to go public even though Dorsey has said the company isn’t profitable? “[Square has] a strong growth curve and growth sells, so it makes sense,” Rick Oglesby, senior analyst with Aite Group, tells Paybefore. “It really just depends on the needs of the management and investors. [However, the company would] have to serve a new type of investor, make a lot more information public and focus heavily on turning a profit.”
What’s more, Oglesby says a Square IPO wouldn’t necessarily be an advantage for the company in a crowded field of m-POS device providers. “Going public would change the ownership structure, but it wouldn’t put them ahead of the competition. Talent, strategy and execution are still critical for that. Public or private, they still need to execute on a very ambitious strategy.”
Also this week, Square announced a major promotion with office supply retailer Staples to drive sales of its Square Stand POS solution to brick-and-mortar merchants. Customers may sample how Square Stand and Square Register work at many Staples stores as part of the promotion, and those that purchase a Square Stand this month will receive a $200 Staples gift card.