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Missourian Pledges $1 Billion to Fight COVID-19

Missouri native and CEO of Twitter Inc., Jack Dorsey, has pledged $1 billion of his stake in Square Inc., the payments processor that he co-founded and runs, to help fund relief efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic. The donation is nearly one third of his total wealth.

“I hope this inspires others to do something similar,” Dorsey tweeted. “Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”

The St. Louis, Missouri, native said the money will be donated to his charity fund Start Small. Any amount remaining after the pandemic will be placed toward universal basic income and girls’ health and education.

Square is a cohesive commerce network of payments, hardware, and software that helps sellers start, run, and grow their businesses. The company first established their presence in St. Louis in Cortex’s @4240 building in September 2015 with 200+ new jobs to support their growing mobile payments company. The @4240 building is in the heart of the Cortex Innovation Community, a research and startup ecosystem that was recently highlighted as one of the key innovation districts in the COVID-19 global response.

The company has expanded multiple times in St. Louis over the past few years and continues to grow their St. Louis team and invest in the region. The company was founded in 2009 by St. Louisans Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey after McKelvey was unable to complete a $2,000 sale of his glass faucets and fitting because he could not accept credit cards. According to McKelvey, he was looking at his smart phone after the loss, and asking why a smart phone couldn’t be used to take credit card payments. Dorsey and McKelvey then developed the concept in St. Louis, and today have grown the company into an international payment solutions organization.

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