Mobile payments company Square has recently begun expanding to become a platform for people to sell goods as well. But selling online, and connecting merchants with customers, requires something that Square currently does not have: an awesome way to share beautiful photos.
No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it is clear that what Square is really getting out of the purchase is the team, who will begin working on Square's seller initiatives out of the company's New York office.
The Viewfinder employees will help expand Square's presence in New York City, as well as helping to triple the size of its engineering team in the city within the next year.
"The team is incredibly talented, having built an app that blends beautiful design and highly technical engineering to create personal, human experiences," Square CTO Bob Lee, wrote. "This too is our mantra at Square, and the Viewfinder team’s expertise in building simple, elegant mobile applications will help us in our mission to make commerce easy for everyone."
The "seller initiatives" that the Viewfinder employees will begin working specifically mean Square Market, as well as Square Register, a Square spokesperson told me.
Square Market, which launched this summer, is a way for users to shop online from local stores, while Square Register is the company's iPad Point of Sale system for quick-serve restaurants, retail shops, and grocery stores.
There are about 10 employees at Viewfinder right now, but Square did not disclose if the entire team will be joining.
Founded in 2012, Viewfinder was founded by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis, who were among the first Google engineers in NYC, where they helped grow Google’s NYC operations.
The philosophy behind the photo sharing app wasto enable its users to share exactly what they wanted with who they wanted. That meant only giving complete control to the user, allowing them to give, and revoke, the ability for others to see their photos.
Viewfinder raised an undisclosed seed round in September of last year.
Now that the team is moving on to Square, Viewfinder will no longer be supported or updated, the company revealed in a post on its homepage on Tuesday.
Existing Viewfinder users will still be able to use the Viewfinder app "for the time being," though no specific date for when it will be shut down was given. The company also says that it will be providing a data export tool in place in the coming weeks so that users can download their photos and conversations.
"It's been a joy to create Viewfinder. We are grateful to our investors, advisors, partners, and most importantly, our users. Your support and feedback made Viewfinder possible. And collectively through Viewfinder, we've captured countless memories, bringing us closer together with friends and family," the Viewfinder team wrote.
(Image source: https://squareup.com)