Square files for IPO, say reports, in new wrinkle for Dorsey, Twitter

The mobile-payments firm confidentially files SEC papers to offer stock to the public, say several reports, adding to talk about Square CEO Jack Dorsey and his simultaneous role as interim chief at Twitter.

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Mobile-payments company Square, the other firm dreamed up by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has filed confidential paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell stock to the public, according to several major news outlets, which cited unnamed sources.

The reports add a new angle to the current situation for Dorsey and Twitter, where he's serving as interim CEO while maintaining his role as full-time head of Square.

Twitter has been on the hunt for a new full-time chief since Dick Costolo left last month. Though Dorsey's name has come up and though he's reportedly intrigued by the idea of returning full-time to the social network (where he served as head during the company's first year and a half), he has said he won't give up the post at Square. An IPO might underline that assertion -- leaving prior to an initial public offering of stock could send an awkward message to potential investors. And Twitter's board has said a new CEO would have to fully commit to the position.

Square is perhaps best known for the little white-plastic card-reader that plugs into a smartphone or tablet and enables small businesses to accept credit card payments. (Square makes money by taking a cut.) The company also makes the Square Stand, which converts an iPad into a point-of-sale system. And last month it unveiled a wireless gadget that lets merchants take Apple Pay for transactions, so customers don't need to swipe their card through a reader but can simply wave their iPhone near a pad-like scanner.

But the company has moved beyond the realm of the high-tech cash register. Its Square Cash app lets friends send money to each other, much like competing offerings from Venmo and PayPal. And its Square Capital program hands business owners a one-time cash advance in exchange for a cut of sales in the future. The company has also fired up a payroll-processing service for businesses in California, which Square says it will expand to other states.

Jack Dorsey Scott Olson/Getty Images

Square processed $30 billion in payments last year, according to Bloomberg, which reported Friday news of the alleged IPO filing (and was followed by various other news outlets). Fortune had reported in June that Square was expected to go public this year.

The filing was reportedly made under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, which lets companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion file IPO papers confidentially and hash out details with the SEC privately.

Square declined to comment.