In the months leading up to its split with eBay, PayPal made two significant acquisitions. The first was the $280 million it laid out for payments technology startup Paydiant, while the second came last month in the form of an $890 million all-cash deal for international money transfer company Xoom.
Following its spin off from eBay, the San Jose, Calif.-based company is continuing its buying spree, announcing on Wednesday that it was purchasing Modest, a Chicago startup that builds mobile e-commerce applications for small businesses. PayPal did not disclose the terms of the agreement, which will see all 20 Modest employees join its Braintree subsidiary in Chicago.
Square is expected to publicly file for IPO within the next two weeks, sources tell Fortune. The reportedly imminent S-1 filing with the SEC would follow news earlier this summer that the payments startup had confidentially filed.
The news matters not just to Square and other payments industry players, but also to Twitter, where Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been moonlighting as interim chief executive. The filing could mean Dorsey will soon be be tasked with running two public companies--or it might put pressure on Twitter to replace Dorsey sooner rather than later.
While Twitter investor Chris Sacca recently tweeted his belief that Dorsey is “the leader that will take [Twitter] to the next level,” the social media company’s current head hasn’t yet been able to turn around the declines in user growth that have made investors queasy. That Dorsey is doing double duty doesn’t help allay concerns.
Going public may not be a victory lap for Square, analysts have cautioned. Rather, it will lead to the company face more direct competition with other payments processors, including large credit card companies. In addition, the payments industry itself is evolving with the rise of electronic wallets in place of plastic. “They’re a very creative company but we have to see more when they disclose their filing,” Kathleen Smith, principal of Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused Exchange Traded Funds, told Inc. in July.
Even with plans apparently in place, Square could still put the IPO on hold if concerns about the Chinese economy or higher interest rates arise, according to Fortune. The startup reportedly put off an IPO last year in response to revenue problems.