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Square to pay US$365 million for e-commerce platform

US-based payments company Square has announced it will acquire Weebly, a San Francisco-based company that provides tools to build, host and manage professional websites and online stores, for US$365 million.

The acquisition will allow Square users to not accept card payments offline and online, but also set up, manage and market an e-commerce business, a significant expansion at a time when more retailers are looking to reach customers across multiple channels.

“Omnichannel commerce is our top focus area in 2018,” said Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square.

“From managing orders, appointments, and payments to building a website, running a business is complex, and entrepreneurs around the world want powerful and intuitive tools. Whether they’re an artist, a winemaker, or a hairdresser, with Square and Weebly sellers will have one cohesive solution to build their business,” Henry said.

The acquisition of Weebly is expected to expand Square’s customer base globally and add a new recurring revenue stream to the payments company.

Meanwhile, Square will give Weebly’s customers access to its ecosystem of managed payments, hardware and software, which complement Weebly’s services, such as free website hosting, premium website design and hosting, online store, and marketing tools.

Nearly 40 per cent of Weebly’s 625,000 paid subscribers are outside the US, which will help accelerate Square’s global expansion.

Square in January released an API that enables retailers to process payments online and announced partnerships with several popular e-commerce platforms, including BigCommerce, Weebly, Ecwid, Wix, WooCommerce and Magento.

The payments company said it will continue to support these integrations and offer an open platform to offer sellers flexibility in selecting third-party solutions. But now it will also be able to offer its own underlying commerce platform to customers.

Square will pay a mix of cash and stock of approximately $365 million, which includes Square restricted stock units for Weebly’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the completion of the transaction is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2018. The two companies will continue to operate independently until close.

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