Square acquires European peer-to-peer payment app Verse
Square acquired Verse, a Spanish peer-to-peer payment app that works across Europe. Terms of the deal are undisclosed. According to Crunchbase, Verse had raised $37.6 million from Spark Capital, eVentures, Greycroft Partners and others.
Square has attracted a ton of users with Cash App, its peer-to-peer payment app that lets you easily send and receive money from your phone. But Cash App has only been available in the U.S. and the U.K.
Acquiring Verse seems like a good fit to expand Square’s presence in Europe. Verse’s team will join the Cash App division within Square.
There are many similarities between Cash App and Verse. Verse’s main feature is that it lets you send and receive money from a mobile app. Users don’t pay any fees and transfers occur in just a few seconds.
Verse users sign up with their phone numbers, which means that you can send money to other users as long as you have their phone numbers in your address book. If you don’t have enough money on your Verse account, the app can charge your debit card directly. And if you want to withdraw money from your Verse account, you can transfer your balance to your bank account.
You can also track group expenses from the app (like Splitwise), create money pots and organize events with a basic ticketing feature.
More recently, Verse launched a Visa debit card in Spain, which lets you spend money on your Verse account directly. You don’t pay any foreign exchange fees and you get two free ATM withdrawals per month. Verse uses Visa’s exchange rate.
While the startup hasn’t shared usage numbers for a while, according to App Annie, it is currently the No. 247 most downloaded app in the App Store in Spain across all categories. Peer-to-peer payment is a fragmented market. For instance, French startup Lydia has 3 million users in France.
“At this point, our main priority is enabling Verse to continue their successful growth in Europe. Verse will continue to operate as an independent business, working out of their offices with no immediate changes to their existing products, customers, or business operations,” Square wrote in the announcement.
The three most important words in this statement are “at this point.” Square doesn’t want to fix what isn’t broken. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Verse slowly evolves to become Cash App in Europe.