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Square to offer loans to small businesses

May 28, 2014

Square, the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is looking to help small businesses as it seeks to find new revenue streams.

On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based merchant services aggregator announced launched Square Capital to “help businesses grow by giving them quick access to funds.” In a pilot program for the last few months, Square Capital appears to have a high "uptake rate among merchants" due to targeted offers, according to a Fortune report earlier this month.

The company continues to expand its business model despite the delay of going public and an overall loss of $100 million in 2013, according to Fortune.

Square Capital selects the small businesses that can join, however: “We send an offer to the seller based on our holistic understanding of their business,” said Gokul Rajaram, Square’s head of product, in an interview with Time.

MORE: Square partners with inventory tracking service Stitch Labs

Small businesses can use funds from Square Capital to buy equipment, hire employees and add new stores. Square says it has lent tens of millions of dollar to companies already.

According to a statement from Square, the company can “offer capital to a wide array of young companies with high-growth potential – something that many financial institutions do not do.”

The company also touts the ability for the small business receiving a loan to get their funds by the next business day.

“It’s part of our broader mission of helping sellers grow,” said Rajaram.

Faryl Ury, a Square spokeswoman, wrote in an email, "Square's mission has always been to make it easier for businesses to start and grow. Payments were one part of that but there are many other pain points sellers face, including getting access to working capital."

She added, "We made credit card acceptance simple, fair, and transparent-- and that's exactly what we're doing now for merchant cash advances."

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