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Branson backs Twitter co-founder's mobile biz

Stuffs cash into mobile payment startup

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Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments startup Square continues to attract high-octane investors, this time welcoming Sir Richard Branson on board.

The last round of funding announced in September was $100m and was led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“I’m very passionate about helping people start and grow successful businesses and Square is an incredible technology that inspires and empowers everyone to be an entrepreneur,” Branson said in a statement.

Branson did not disclose the level of investment but it is believed to be significant. San Francisco-based Square, which launched in 2009, is now valued at around $1bn and has shipped over 800,000 of its mobile card readers to businesses across the country.

Branson joins Square’s roster of tech investor elite, including former President Obama chief advisor Larry Summers, Mary Meeker and Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures and Visa.

In September, Square chief operating officer Keith Rabois said the company is processing around $4m in payments every day, and expects to surpass $1bn by the end of the year. The company is also signing up between 30,000 and 50,000 new merchants each month, it said. ®

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