Google and Apple both considered purchasing Square for mobile payments
Mobile payments continue to get bigger and bigger every year, and the competition is already ramping up to see which platform will become the crowd favorite. There are quite a few options, including Google Wallet, LevelUp, PayPal, and Square, but Apple has also been rumored to be entering the race. And, word has it that buying Square has been one plan to do just that.
Of course, rumor has it that Google is also interested in buying Square, but neither Apple nor Google might be able to make the deal happen. Analysts are unsure if either company could offer enough to get the Square board to budge. In the last round of funding, Square was valued at $5 billion, but the prevailing thinking is that Square will be going public rather than selling. Square has not been actively trying to sell, but that hasn't stopped other companies from inquiring. Even so, Google is reportedly the most likely suitor to win out if the company were to sell.
The trouble there is that Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey might be reluctant to sell to Google. Dorsey didn't have a good experience when Google attempted to purchase his other company, Twitter, so the thinking is that Dorsey might not be too keen on dealing with Google this time around either. When it comes to Apple, things don't get any easier to figure.
There were rumors that Apple wants to build a mobile payments system that leverages the iPhone, iTunes, and its new iBeacon platform; Tim Cook has confirmed these plans. Purchasing Square could give Apple a big jump on building that system, but experts aren't sure how much it would help, because the theory there is that Apple would want a more integrated online solution than what Square would offer.
And, the biggest issue of all right now is that, like many startups, Square is not profitable. Estimates say that Square has only generates about $100 to $200 million in revenue, and some insiders say that Square's deal with Starbucks has actually led to Square losing money. Given the funding and valuation that the company is getting, people believe in the plan, but it always helps to be able to turn a profit, especially if you're going to go public.