Square Has A New CFO, And She Better Get That New Financing Round Nailed Down

Sarah FriarSquare dealer.

Square, Jack Dorsey’s payments startup, just hired its first chief financial officer—Sarah Friar, formerly a top executive at Salesforce.com.Friar is a big believer in cloud services like Salesforce.com’s business-automation software and Square’s payments network—so much so that she left an analyst job at Goldman Sachs to join Salesforce.com.

It’s a little weird for a financial-services firm to have gotten by so long without a CFO. Until Friar’s hire, Square only had a VP of finance.

In Square’s early days, venture capitalist Gideon Yu served as the company’s shadow CFO, working one day a week—until he left Khosla Ventures last year to join the San Francisco 49ers football team, where he’s now president. (Khosla founder Vinod Khosla took over his seat on Square’s board a few months after Yu left Khosla.)

Now Friar has a big challenge on her hands: She needs to wrap up Square’s next big financing round.

In April, CEO Jack Dorsey and COO Keith Rabois took a trip to the East Coast—to Boston and Baltimore, which happen to be where big mutual-fund companies Fidelity and Legg Mason happen to be based. They were reportedly seeking a $4 billion valuation.

Even before the Facebook IPO flop, that seemed pricey.

But in announcing Friar’s hire, Square also mentioned that the company is now processing payments at an annual rate of $6 billion. That’s up from a $5 billion a year rate in April—a huge 20 per cent leap in two months.

Translation: Square is growing like a weed, and its prospective new investors had better get on board the train.

We’ll see if they buy it.

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