Photo: Twitpic/Steve Case
Square, the mobile payments company led by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, is raising $100 million in new financing, led by big-time VC firm Kleiner Perkins, the WSJ reports. The round values Square at more than $1 billion, quadrupling its value, says the WSJ’s Monica Langley. (Though that’s half the $2 billion valuation that TechCrunch said Square was shooting for.) Update: The NYT now says Square’s round is at a $1.6 billion valuation, significantly higher than the WSJ reported.
Mary Meeker, the long-time Internet stock analyst and current Kleiner Perkins partner, is joining Square’s board. Earlier this month, former Obama advisor (and Harvard president) Larry Summers joined Square’s board.
Square is now processing $4 million in payments per day, double the $2 million per day it was doing two months ago.
There’s obviously a huge opportunity here, and Square seems to be moving as fast as it can to grab as much of the market as possible.
But the WSJ also highlights the skewed work-life balance at Square, exemplified by Dorsey, who has boasted of 16-to-20-hour days, split between his work at Square and at Twitter, where he is executive chairman.
Dorsey has asked employees not to take vacations and in one case, “told one engineer to miss his own out-of-town bachelor party to work on a new product.”
The WSJ continues: “At a meeting with his 100 employees, Mr. Dorsey was asked why he ‘guilts’ them into working ‘more than 12-hour days’ and on weekends, pushing them to ‘burn-out’.”
“‘We have new competitors who want to kill us’, retorted Mr. Dorsey. ‘We have to hold them at bay and move faster than they can imagine’.”
Perhaps that’s true, but employee burnout could be just as risky.
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