Square, the Silicon Valley payment processing startup of Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, has opened up an office in Kitchener-Waterloo. The move comes nearly eight months after Dorsey told reporters at a Toronto conference that Square would beef up its presence in southern Ontario.
The office will be located at 305 King Street in downtown Kitchener and will open in Spring 2014.
The company’s motto is that it’s “enabling sellers to start, run, and grow their business.” Square also said the move will be growing the company in the heart of “Canada’s Technology Triangle”, referring to Waterloo Region.
“We are thrilled to be part of Kitchener-Waterloo’s thriving and talented tech community,” said Square’s Demetrios Marantis. “Square businesses have already facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce in Canada. We’re excited by how much more we can do to empower local sellers by establishing a Square office in Kitchener and deepening our commitment to the country.”
In July Square moved into a coworking space in Kitchener-Waterloo that accommodated only a handful of employees. The new office will allow Square to house more than 30 employees. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and has other offices in New York, Atlanta, and Tokyo, employing over 800 employees.
It’s great news for the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, particularly for startup people in Kitchener-Waterloo region.
When Dorsey was last in Canada eight months ago in Toronto, he gave glowing reviews to Kitchener-Waterloo, referring to the amount of University of Waterloo alumni now working at Square as “stunning.” Dorsey compared the small city to Silicon Valley: “I feel like what I saw of Waterloo…had that same sort of feeling: there’s an openness and there’s a desire.”
Just yesterday it was reported by several media outlets that Square would be shuttering its “Square wallet” service, as the method of leaving the wallet at home and paying for everything via one’s mobile phone still hasn’t reached mainstream popularity.
“The news that Square has aborted its much-hyped, high concept app is the latest bad omen for the digital payment start-up,” wrote Forbes. “Over the last few weeks, there have been several reports that Square was burning through cash and groping for a big buyer (Google in particular) to keep the business afloat. Square denied that it was shopping itself to Google.”
Square is replacing Square Wallet with Square Order–a mobile app that lets users order food ahead of time to cut the line.