Starbucks Invests $25 Million in Square, Begins Accepting Square Payments in 7,000 US Stores


Jack Dorsey:

I am pleased and proud to announce that today Starbucks signed up for Square.

Square began with a really simple idea: everyone should be able to accept credit cards. It should be easy and free to get set up, it should use simple technology people already own, and, most importantly, it should instantly adapt to any size business—from the person chasing a dream to the largest organization on the planet. By embracing Square, Starbucks has validated these ideas as powerful tools—not just for small businesses, but for smart businesses.

Despite widespread awareness in the technology-centric community in the United States, the vast majority of consumers are relatively unaware of Square. Today, however, Square has taken an enormous leap toward mainstream awareness.

Roughly 7,000 Starbucks locations will begin to accept Square payments this fall. Although mobile payments via the Starbucks app have already been available for quite some time, the experience has been hamstrung by a somewhat clumsy interface when paying. With Square payments, Starbucks ushers people toward an utterly wonderful — albeit underused — service.

Beyond this lucrative deal between Starbucks and Square is the former’s $25 million dollar investment in the latter. Valuing the 2009 startup at $3.25 billion, Starbucks has not only reached mass awareness, but also large-scale success.

Dan Frommer has wisely likened Square to an ever-improving “operating system for retailers,” which seems an apt description of the startup.

Moreover, from my perspective, I’m beginning to perceive Square as a catalyzing agent for the modernization of many industries around the world. For me, I carry a Square card reader to most meetings just in case someone might decide to pay me right then and there, cab drivers increasingly seem to process card payments via their Square-enabled smartphones, and small business owners — otherwise strangled by poor hardware and high processing fees — seem keen to adopt.

Here’s hoping this rapid rise toward success continues unabated for Square — the experience is truly all that it’s hyped up to be.