The disclosure of Visa’s share in mobile payment startup Square sent the startup’s stock price climbing. But the disclosure raises questions about Visa’s plans for Square.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, which founded and runs Square, announced that Visa purchased a stake in Square in 2011. But the size of the purchase was not revealed at the time. In a regulatory filing earlier this week, Visa revealed it owns about 4.19 million of Square’s Class B shares, which don’t trade publicly. However, Visa has the option to convert Class B shares into about 3.52 million Class A shares, which would give it a 9.99 percent stake in Square’s publicly-traded shares.
Visa’s stake, however, only represents about 1 percent of Square’s share base. Visa also recently launched Visa Developer, which is software that helps merchants accept Visa payments more easily.
The revelation of the size of Visa’s stake in Square is a curious one, as Visa hasn’t historically acquired such companies. But stock analysts called the revelation a vote of confidence in Square’s business model.