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Square Snaps Up New York Design Firm

Along with a team of designers, the deal also offers the west coast-based mobile payment start-up a New York headquarters.

Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey

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Square CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey was spotted testing his company's payment service in a NYC taxicab with Mayor Bloomberg over the weekend. His west coast company has a new reason to get more comfortable with the Big Apple: On Monday Square announced that it's acquiring a New York-based design firm and, in turn, a New York headquarters.

The mobile payment company, which recently closed a $200 million round of funding, acquired interface design specialists 80/20, both companies confirmed, for an undisclosed amount, according to The New York Times. Square prides itself on simple and sleek design, and the acquisition may help the company set itself further apart from competitors like Intuit and PayPal.

“It's key that [Square] not be another payment option,” Square CTO Bob Lee said of the company's future at a VentureBeat conference in July. Lee said one of the best ways to differentiate is through great design.

80/20 will serve as Square’s in-house design team, Mashable reports. The group touts former Apple and Adobe employees who have worked together to create things like Motoactv--Motorola’s Bluetooth-enabled fitness device. 

“In every project, we’ve started with the belief that the best design gets out of the user’s way and that you can craft unforgettable user experiences by keeping things simple and obsessing over the details,” 80/20 wrote in its site Monday. “Square shares our passion for using technology and design to improve people’s lives.”

On top of the talent, Square will also acquire a New York City presence. The company, which currently employs around 200 people according to its LinkedIn profile, is based in San Francisco and has an engineering arm in St. Louis, Missouri.

“We’re excited to establish a presence in New York, home to over 50,000 Square merchants, many current and potential partners, and some of the most talented designers and engineers in the world,” a Square spokesman told Inc.

IMAGE: Flickr/The DEMO Conference
Last updated: Oct 2, 2012




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