Large Seller Growth Swells Square For Favorable Q2

It’s hip to be Square — a Square seller, that is.

Square’s Q2 earnings report was released last week, with the company’s results and changes in corporate strategy setting the fintech community abuzz with chatter and speculation. One of the main focuses for analysts and company enthusiasts was seller volume, particular large sellers, who now account for 42%, or about $5.25 billion, of Square’s GPV.

For years, the knock on Square was its focus on micromerchants, but the company has moved strongly in the direction selling upstream in recent years, and showed significant gains in that area this quarter. (c) Can Stock Photo

Large sellers are now reportedly drawn to Square by its convenience and the security of the payment technologies it offers, including EMV technology, chip cards and contactless readers.

“We can actually see in our data that our sellers do grow when they pick Square Capital,” said Square CFO Sarah Friar, on the company’s Q2 conference call. “And as [Square] moves upmarket towards those large sellers, that gives us the opportunity with capital to move into slightly larger loans.”

Here’s a comment on larger sellers from Square’s Q2 shareholder letter:

We are pleased with our growth in larger sellers, which we define as those sellers that generate more than $125,000 in annualized GPV. GPV from these larger sellers grew 61% year over year, representing 42% of GPV in the second quarter of 2016, up from 37% of GPV in the second quarter of 2015. We have achieved this larger-seller GPV growth while maintaining transaction revenue margin, demonstrating that larger sellers are not focused solely on price and recognize the full value of our cohesive ecosystem.

Square “brings payment together with additional services into one cohesive ecosystem,” continues the company’s letter, something it maintains is attractive to larger sellers, especially when combined with the fast access to capital the startup offers, achieved through next-day settlement of funds, Instant Deposit, and Square Capital loans.

According to Friar, 60,000 Square Capital loans were completed in the first half of this year, already dwarfing the total number of loans done in 2015.  This quarter the company extended $189 million in Square Capital, as opposed to the $153 million volume in Q1.

Square’s large seller growth has had a clear impact on company strategy, as Q2 earnings prompted the company to raise its 2016 revenue guidance to the range of $655 million to $670 million.

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