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Square purchases food delivery startup Caviar

The mobile payments company expands its merchant service options with a startup that delivers food from local restaurants.


Square has finally confirmed its purchase of Caviar, a food delivery startup that could help the mobile payments company with its bottom line.

The company announced its acquisition Monday after rumors surfaced last month. Square did not disclose any details of the deal, but The New York Times reported that Square paid $90 million worth of stock for the startup.

Caviar will remain a separate service for now. Square, which provides a mobile credit card reader service to small businesses, said the addition of Caviar helps it expand its merchant services. Square has tried out several financial services, including lending money to merchants through its Square Capital program.

"Caviar's curated, seamless delivery experience is exactly the kind of service we want to provide buyers and sellers," Square CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement. "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."

Started two years ago in San Francisco, Caviar delivers food from "top-rated, popular local restaurants that do not otherwise offer delivery on their own," according to its site. In addition to the San Francisco Bay Area, the company currently serves Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. It's delivered over 1 million meals.

Caviar CEO Jason Wang said in a statement that Square's resources will help Caviar grow. More than 50,000 restaurants use Square's register service.

Square launched its first service in 2010 and made it a name for itself by offering lower transaction rates than traditional credit card processing services. Since then, the company has tried to several consumer-facing products like Square Wallet, a digital wallet it eventually pulled from Apple's App Store and Google Play and replaced with an app that lets users order food.

Square isn't the first payments company to put a bet on food. PayPal launched an integration with delivery service Eat24 last year, allowing users to order ahead and pay through the PayPal mobile app.