Square Buys Caviar, Adding Food Delivery to Its Menu of Features

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Square Inc. has purchased food delivery company, Caviar, in a move to add non-payment features to its mobile payment and ordering system.

Caviar is an alternative to an in-house delivery service allowing consumers to get items delivered from restaurants that do not generally offer the service. The acquisition was first rumored in July.

The service could complement the new Square Order app, which allows consumers to order and pay ahead of a visit to a Square merchant. Square Order recently replaced Square Wallet in the iOS and Android app stores.

"Caviar's curated, seamless delivery experience is exactly the kind of service we want to provide buyers and sellers," said Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, in an August 4 press release. "By making delivery such a fast, friendly, and easy process, Caviar gives time back to restaurants so they can focus on what they do best—cooking great food for their customers."

While details of the acquisition haven't been released, The New York Times reported Square would pay close to $90 million for Caviar, citing unnamed sources.

"Square is still in the process of evolving its business and moving away from its traditional focus which was very much around the point of sale," said Jordan McKee, a senior analyst covering mobile payments at 451 Research Mobility Team. Square is not only working on becoming a commerce enablement hub for small and medium-sized merchants, but also "trying to focus on products that have more lucrative revenue prospects," McKee said.

Caviar's order volume has grown 500% year over year since it launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012. The service is now available to consumers in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. Repeat customers account for 80% of its monthly deliveries.

"With Square's national scale and commitment to making commerce easy, we'll be able to help buyers get food delivered from more of their favorite restaurants, while helping restaurants reach new customers and simplify their operations," said Jason Wong, co-founder and CEO of Caviar, in the release.

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