Mobile payment startup Square has raised $150 million, valuing the company at $6 billion, and the new round of venture financing was led by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, according to the New York Times. The report also that previous investors Goldman Sachs and Rizvi Traverse Management also participated in this latest round of financing.
Founded by Twitter co-Founder Jack Dorsey in 2009, the company’s primary business model involves providing merchants and small businesses with a card reader for free, and getting about 2.75% of every transaction done that device.
Recently, it has been diversifying its offering by launching products such as ‘Square Cash’, a cash advance programme for small businesses. It also bought food delivery startup Cavier and said that it would accept Apple Pay payments.
Prior to this round of financing, the company had raised about $440 million through several earlier rounds and its other investors include Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Starbucks.
The Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) is a state-owned agency that manages the city-state’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and has made several high-profile investments of late, including $100 million in Taiwanese music streaming service KKBOX, $310 million for picking up minority stakes in two Philippines companies – Century Canning Corp and Metro Pacific Investment Corp – and also participating in the $1 billion round fund raising drive by Indian retailer Flipkart.
Recent media reports said that GIC will be part of a consortium, along with Australian bank Macquarie and Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure firm that is bidding to take over three regional airports in the UK.
GIC’s investment in Square also marks a recent trend Asian firms betting big on internet and mobile companies like Snapchat’s investment in China’s Tencent and Japan’s Rakuten leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest in 2012.