Square, Now Valued at $1 Billion, Wants to Take On Google

Square is getting serious. The year-old mobile payments startup founded by Jack Dorsey just secured $100 million in fresh funding, a big number that boosts Square's valuation up to $1 billion, a bigger number. This, just a few days after news that Foursquare is now worth over half a billion dollars according to the company's investors. The two-year-old company's founders, Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvandurai, announced in a blog post Friday afternoon that they had secured $50 million at a $600 million valuation. TechCrunch called it "one of the most secretive rounds of venture capital [they've] ever seen."

With the flood of new capital, Square and Foursquare are poised to join Zynga in the mobile-first vanguard. Investors can't seem to get enough of these companies that primarily live on mobile devices. Square and Foursquare--what similar names!--seem especially viable as they seem to be beating major competition from tech giants with competing services like Google, who recently launched Google Wallet to compete with Square, and Facebook, who last year launched Facebook Places to compete with Foursquare's check-in and location-based deal business. Big companies want to know how they're doing it. Dylan Byers puts this into perspective, quoting Eric Schmidt talking about Google Wallet at this year's Cannes Lion festival. Schmidt's vision sounds like it involves a little bit of Square and a little Foursquare too:

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