Square to buy Afterpay for $29bn

Ellie Duncan
04 Aug 2021

Digital payments platform Square, co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, has agreed to acquire Australian buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) business Afterpay for $29 billion.

Dorsey, who is co-founder and CEO of Square, said that the two fintechs have a “shared purpose”.

“We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles,” he said.

Square intends to integrate Afterpay into its existing ‘Seller’ and ‘Cash App’ business units, to enable merchants of all sizes to offer BNPL at checkout, as well as giving Afterpay consumers the ability to manage their instalment payments directly in Cash App, and provide Cash App customers with the ability to discover merchants and BNPL offers within the app.

Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar, Afterpay co-founders and co-CEOs, said: “By combining with Square, we will further accelerate our growth in the US and globally, offer access to a new category of in-person merchants, and provide a broader platform of new and valuable capabilities and services to our merchants and consumers.

“We are fully aligned with Square’s purpose and, together, we hope to continue redefining financial wellness and responsible spending for our customer.”

They added that the deal recognised the Australian technology sector, as “homegrown innovation continues to be shared more broadly throughout the world”.

Afterpay’s co-founders and co-CEOs will join Square upon completion of the transaction, expected in the first quarter of 2022, helping to lead Afterpay’s respective merchant and consumer businesses, as part of Square’s Seller and Cash App ecosystems.

Square also said it will appoint one Afterpay director as a member of the board following closing.

Brian Grassadonia, lead of Square’s Cash App business, added: “The addition of Afterpay to Cash App will strengthen our growing networks of consumers around the world, while supporting consumers with flexible, responsible payment options.”

At the end of June, Afterpay served more than 16 million consumers and nearly 100,000 merchants globally.