Merchant services, point-of-sale and mobile payments firm Square is expanding its Australian operation, by launching the company’s first engineering hub outside of North America in Melbourne.
Company chief Jack Dorsey – best known as the billionaire CEO and co-founder of Twitter – was in Melbourne today to launch Square’s new local headquarters in Bourke Street.
“We have been humbled by the support Square has received from Australia’s business community over the past two years. Australia is an important market for Square, with more and more businesses joining our platform every day,” Dorsey said.
Around 60 jobs will be created as a result, many of them in engineering, the company confirmed.
Square launched in Australia in September 2016, offering a contactless and chip card readers that can plug into a point of sale machine or smartphone, or connect via Bluetooth.
The company has since added a slew of other tools covering invoicing, real-time data and inventory. It is now adding an e-commerce offering to its platform, in April announcing it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire website building platform Weebly.
Squares products and tools have been particularly popular among mobile sole traders and restaurants, and the number of Australian businesses using Square has increased 150 per cent since March last year, the company said.
Speaking at the Wade Institute in Melbourne last night, Dorsey explained Square's pivot: “It was really important to understand the why of what we were doing and create real value for our customers. We shifted our mindset from a company making hardware to a company helping people make a sale. Once we did that, we found loads more ways we could help.”
Square's 30 Australian employees will soon triple in number, with the company’s local headcount expected to exceed 100 employees over the next few years.
“As our seller base continues to grow, our team needs to grow with it, which is why we are investing more in Australia – adding new high-skill jobs and expanding our local operations in Melbourne,” Dorsey said.
The company has a global workforce of 2,300 employees, with offices in the US, Canada, Japan, the UK and Ireland.
The local expansion has been supported by the Victorian Government, which offers one of the lowest rates of business tax of any Australian state and offers investors some of the world’s most generous research and development support, the government said.
Square Australian country manager, Ben Pfisterer, said the company has more than exceeded its expectations in the local market.
“With a thriving small business community and thirst for innovation, the Australian market has proven to be quick-adopters of new payments technology. We are investing in our local workforce this year, and adding new engineering capabilities so that we can introduce a greater range of products and services that will help more Australian businesses,” he said.