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Square acquires peer-to-peer mobile payments app Evenly

The payment processing company looks to expand its capabilities by buying a startup that focuses on letting users collect payments from friends.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Square's latest acquisition is aimed at making it easier to collect money from friends. The mobile payments company announced Wednesday that it had bought the startup Evenly, which designed an easy payment app.

"At Square, we are committed to creating a better experience for our merchants by helping them focus on their customers, rather than on the payment itself," Square product engineering lead Gokul Rajaram said in a blog post. "Evenly's app made it easy for anyone to send or collect payments from friends, anywhere, anytime. But more importantly, the team showcased the importance of prioritizing experience over the technical aspects of the product itself."

Evenly's app works a bit like Venmo -- a startup acquired by Braintree last year. The idea is to send money to other people via a mobile device without the hassle of dealing with banks or credit card services. eBay announced in September that it is buying Braintree for about $800 million. Apparently, eBay expects Venmo to expand PayPal's mobile payments market, which is already forecast to generate sales of more than $20 billion this year.

In appears that Square is looking to compete with eBay in this market. Recently, Square also acquired Viewfinder, which is a platform for organizing and sharing photos.

Evenly will shut down in early 2014 and its team will go work at Square. The startup wrote on its Web site that at Square, it plans to "bring simplicity, transparency, and immediacy to commerce." The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.