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Square buys appointment booking startup BookFresh

The two companies will continue to operate independently, at least for now

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 26, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3551

Its obvious at this point that Square is looking to go beyond just being a payments company.

It has branched out to hardware with Square Stand, a combination reader/register stand, and just today it was revealed that the company is testing out a service called Square Pickup, which would let customers order their food from a merchant ahead of time to pick it up later.

And now Square is adding another type of app to its suite: appointment scheduling.

The company has purchased BookFresh, a company that provides appointment booking tools, it was announced via a blog post on Wednesday. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it is clear from posts put up by both Square and by BookFresh CEO Evan Ginsburg, that the two companies will remain completely separate, at least for the time being.

"To BookFresh customers: It’s business as usual. The team remains dedicated to maintaining and improving the product and supporting you," Gokul Rajaram, Product Engineering Lead at Square, wrote.

Not even any data that is currently supplied to Square or to BookFresh will be integrated with the other service at the moment. 

BookFresh describes itself as "OpenTable for everything but restaurants." It offers calendar tools for small business owners, in order to to help manage appointments, classes, events and changing schedules.It also offers a widget to accept appointment online, as well as on Facebook, Wordpress and Twitter. The company supplies a website to those businesses that do not yet have one.

Founded in 2007, the company raised $500,000 in seed funding from angel investors, including Ron Conway.

Square and BookFresh will work well together because they share the same ultimate goal, according to Ginsburg.

"Square’s mission to make commerce easy resonates deeply with us. Together, we can bring simple tools to local sellers everywhere and help them grow their business," he said. "BookFresh’s software helps local sellers create a seamless, self-service appointment booking experience that connects them instantly with new and existing customers. Just like Square, BookFresh is designed to give time back to sellers so they can focus on their business."

Earlier this week it was reported that Square is looking to raise $200 million from Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding, the investment fund run by Prince Alwaleed, which would boost Square’s valuation to $5 billion.

The company has also been rumored to be a favorite candidate for an IPO in the coming year. Perhaps it is trying to diversify its revenue streams to be more appealing to potential investors. 

(Image source: www.bookfresh.com)


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