Square recently announced their acquisition of the company Evenly, which was a top competitor with Venmo for sending and receiving payments among friends. This deal comes on the heels of Braintree acquiring Venmo last year, who is also in the market for a buyer. The point behind the app from Evenly is to split and share bills among friends from their smartphones.The way it works is that each person has a list of contacts in their app that they can share with. Users can request and pay funds into a pool that is organized around specific events or expenses. For instance, if you were planning a bachelor party and the total bill was going to be $500, each of the 10 participants could chip in $50 to pay the bill equally. The concept also works for other expenses such as dinner or concert tickets; pretty much any occasion where splitting a bill with people is necessary.
Though the purchase is already done, Evenly will stay in business until mid-January of 2014. According to Evenly, they will keep their servers up and running for an ample length of time so that all of their users can pull the money from their accounts. There services will only be available to users who are already setup, however, because the app has already been pulled for Google Play and the Apple Store.
With the shutdown of Evenly, this move is clearly more about obtaining the talent of the 5 person team versus the brand itself. With Square Cash trying to get a foothold against Venmo and Google Wallet, bringing on this type of talent to bring new life into the app is a crucial step to taking over this segment of the mobile payment industry. With Google eating up all the talent as fast as they can, Square knows that they need to act quickly when highly skilled people are available to beat them to the punch.