Startups and Other Firms Created Out of the Square Mafia

Startups and Other Firms Created Out of the Square Mafia

  • The concept of Silicon Valley “mafias” first emerged with the Oracle, Facebook, and PayPal mafias.
  • Former Square staffers have gone on to launch startups price almost $40 billion cumulatively.
  • Insider tracked 15 members of the “Square mafia” to see what they’re as much as nowadays.

Silicon Valley insiders have lengthy been obsessive about the concept of startup “mafias.”

The “PayPal mafia” was maybe the most notorious firm that spawned the founders of tech giants like YouTube, Yelp, Tesla, and LinkedIn. Facebook and Oracle even have their very own mafias of former workers which have produced iconic tech corporations like Salesforce, Asana, and GoodRx. 

Recently, consideration has turned to the Jack Dorsey-founded fintech large Square, now known as Block, whose former workers have created and led startups cumulatively price almost $40 billion, based mostly on non-public valuations from PitchBook and enterprise values for public corporations, from this non-exhaustive checklist.

“Jack and I initially employed aspiring entrepreneurs — we have been deliberately on the lookout for individuals who had aspirations of beginning their very own firm, and we wished these potential founders to assist us construct Square,” stated Keith Rabois, the firm’s former COO, who’s now a normal companion at Founders Fund and the CEO of Opendoor — which is featured on this checklist.

He added that as Square grew, the firm put programming in place designed to show workers how you can be founders, and the startup’s highest achievers have been paired with exterior mentors to assist them develop expertise and study extra about constructing corporations.

“I at all times informed workers that it is my job to make your job at Square so difficult and fulfilling that you simply preserve deferring leaving to start out your individual firm,” Rabois stated. “If your function is not increasing in intellectually difficult methods, I’m completely snug so that you can then depart.”

Many of these former Square staffers have carried over sure core values from the fintech to their present ventures, resembling specializing in the buyer, using tech to uplift companies, and emphasizing persistently sturdy execution, they informed Insider.

“Our goal at Nextdoor is to domesticate a kinder world the place everybody has a neighborhood they’ll depend on, and like Square, we see how empowering communities and small companies at a grassroots stage can actually change how these neighborhoods survive and thrive,” Sarah Friar, the Nextdoor CEO and the former Square CFO, stated.  

Some stated that Square gave them a enterprise mannequin to emulate for their very own startups. Others stated they met their cofounders or early workers whereas at the firm.

Insider tracked 15 ex-Square workers of their present ventures, starting from launching multibillion-dollar public corporations to working high-profile VC companies. Here’s what they’re to date.

The rent-to-own startup Divvy Homes, cofounded by the former Square product supervisor and financing lead Adena Hefets, declined to be included on this checklist.