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Square's Caviar Now Lets Customers Order Ahead ... And That's a Big Deal

Investors in Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) have had good reason to celebrate this year. Shares in the payment processing company are up more than 70% year-to-date. The company's meteoric rise has been powered by its strong revenue and earnings growth reported in recent quarters. In Square's 2017 first quarter, the company reported adjusted revenue of $204 million, a 39% increase year-over-year, and total payment volume of $13.6 billion, a 33% annual increase.

Fueling this strong growth is Square's subscription- and services-based revenue , which grew a remarkable 106% year-over-year. While Square does not always break down the individual components of this business segment, the first quarter's shareholder letter did state that Caviar, Square Capital, and Instant Deposit all "contributed significantly" to the division's growth. The letter also stated Caviar's order volume had more than doubled from the previous year's first quarter.

While many were skeptical of Square's purchase of a restaurant delivery service when it first acquired Caviar in 2014, Square has since proven the doubters wrong by carefully incorporating the platform into its larger ecosystem . The company's leadership has also broadened the service's scope, adding more function so that it is now much more than a simple delivery service. In March, Square introduced Caviar Pickup, a new feature that allows diners to...