Payments company Square is raising another major round of funding, but is targeting institutional investors first because of the enormous size of the round, we hear from sources. Square’s CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey and COO Keith Rabois have met with both Fidelity and Legg Mason over the past week, and as AllThingsD reported earlier, Square is looking to raise at a $4 billion valuation, which we’ve confirmed as well.
In addition, we are also hearing that the company is raising around $250 million, which was originally reported in the New York Times. We hear Dorsey wrapped up the 10-day trip to the East Coast to conduct the raise.
Owen Thomas of the Daily Dot was the first to notice Dorsey’s and Rabois’ trips (broadcasted via Twitter) to Baltimore and Boston, where Legg Mason and Fidelity are based, respectively. Another potential institutional investor, T. Rowe Price, is also based in Baltimore as well. It’s notable that Rabois’ previous company, Slide, raised funding from Fidelity as well.
Square just raised $100 million in funding last year at a $1 billion valuation, so a $4 billion pre-money valuation is a huge jump. You also have to wonder what Square is raising another big round for. International expansion is on the horizon for 2012, and we know that the company is ramping up on marketing spend with a new TV commercial. Perhaps Square could be looking to make strategic acquisitions as well in the near future?
A spokesperson for Square says the company declined to comment on rumor or speculation.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.