Mobile payment start-up Square has built a huge following in part by appealing to artisans and creators of hand crafted products. But the company is not just serving those merchants, it’s almost built in their image. The company has pushed a very design-focused product that has an almost artistic approach to commerce. The service is built almost entirely in-house without any help from outsiders. And it is getting picked up by merchants largely through word of mouth instead of a big sales team.

Even with growing competition from some well-funded companies, Square hasn’t slowed down at all. It is now processing $5 billion on an annualized rate. The company is up to 300 employees and has taken over an entire floor of the old San Francisco Chronicle building, giving it room to add another 150 people. And it’s reportedly raising $250 million at a possible $4 billion valuation.


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