Square Sets IPO Price At $9 For $2.9 Billion Valuation

Square IPO

Mobile payments company Square priced it shares at $9 late on Wednesday.

Based on that price the company values itself at $2.9 billion. Square has raised $243.5 million on the private market.

The company’s valuation signals a 52 percent drop from the $6 billion valuation it had earned at its last private funding round.

San Francisco-based Square, led by CEO Jack Dorsey, said earlier this month it would debut at a price poitn of $11 to $13, well below the $15.46 per-share price of its most recent private financing.

The lowered price structure suggests widespread uncertainty about the profitability of the payments industry.

 

The price point may also reflect uncertainty over whether Jack Dorsey is capable of running both Twitter and Square at the same time.

Square was founded in 2009 as a company aimed at helping small businesses accept credit card payments through mobile devices.

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The company has evolved to include a suite of small business services, relying on partnerships with companies such as Apple and Visa.

The valuation cut triggered a ratchet, or protection investors wrote into previous funding rounds, that requires Square to sell several million additional shares.

The company planned to sell 25.7 million Class A common shares, while a charity created by Dorsey is set to sell about 1.35 million.

Square will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SQ”.

Analysts will be closely monitoring Square during its first year as a public company. Dorsey must prove that his relatively young company can compete with giants like Visa, Apple, and Paypal.