The lending business appears to be treating Square well.
The division of the company responsible for providing loans to small businesses and Square sellers across its global network, Square Capital, processed more than 400,000 business loans for the quarter, for a total of $251 million. This is up 64% from last year.
Overall, the payments company reported solid earnings yesterday—quelle surprise—with $462 million in net revenue, and $13.6 billion in gross payment volume for the quarter, both up 22% year over year. Square Capital’s growth continued to stand out.
Sarah Friar, chief financial officer for Square, said on the company’s earnings call yesterday:
So the growth rate in the subscription and services revenue line was 106% year-over-year. So it was a very nice quarter for products that we monetize in that way. I think in terms of highlights in that area, capital, certainly one.
So capital grew 64% year-over-year and we facilitated the origination of $251 million worth of loans, so feel great about that product. Clearly, we are answering a big market need and very few, if any others can really follow us into that market.
Mimicking Square’s success in this arena would be something of a challenge, as the company’s capital offering relies on the data it collects from its sprawling network of sellers. This capability is clearly something Square Capital, which is nearing its third year of operation, takes full advantage of when it comes to growth.
Another source of growth for the company was its results in the U.K., the fourth international market Square has entered, where small and medium businesses– Square’s target market –generated £1.8 trillion (about $2.3 trillion) in revenue for 2016 according to company statements.
According to Square CEO Jack Dorsey, this success is due to the company’s hardware being “a perfect fit” for the United Kingdom.
Dorsey said on the call:
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The U.K. is also really interesting for us corresponding to our hardware. Our contactless and chip card reader was built to be a global platform, but the U.K. is interesting because over 70% of transactions are top transactions and are fee-based. So, we had a really perfect product market fit.
But one of the biggest things that we were able to do this time was really launch with an ecosystem instead of launch with a part.