Categories Earnings Call Transcripts, Technology

Square, Inc. (SQ) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

SQ Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) Q4 2020 earnings call dated Feb. 23, 2021

Corporate Participants:

Jason Lee — Vice President, Head of Investor Relations

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Tien-Tsin Huang — JPMorgan Chase & Co. — Analyst

Darrin Peller — Wolfe Research LLC — Analyst

Ignacio Diaz-Garza — Cash App Customer — Analyst

Lisa Ellis — MoffettNathanson LLC — Analyst

Timothy Chiodo — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Harshita Rawat — Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC. — Analyst

Josh Beck — KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. — Analyst

Dan Dolev — Mizuho Securities — Analyst

George Mihalos — Cowen and Company — Analyst

Daniel Perlin — RBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Jason Kupferberg — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Square Fourth Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call.

I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Jason Lee, Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Jason Lee — Vice President, Head of Investor Relations

Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining our fourth quarter 2020 earnings call. We have Jack and Amrita with us today. We will begin this call some short remarks before opening the call directly to your question. During Q&A, we will take questions from our customers in addition to questions from conference call participants.

We would also like to remind everyone that we will be making forward-looking statements on this call. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by our forward-looking statements and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Please take a look at our filings with the SEC for a discussion of the factors that could cause our results to differ. Also note that the forward-looking statements on this call are based on information available to us as of today’s date. We disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law.

During this call, we will provide preliminary gross profit, gross results for the month of January and February. These represent our gross profit, gross results for January and current estimates for February performance. These numbers are not final as we have not yet closed our accounting financials for the month of February and our monthly results are not subject to interim review by our auditors. As a result, actual January and February results may differ from these estimates. Also, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures during this call. Reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are provided in the shareholder letter on our Investor Relations website. These non-GAAP measures are not intended to be a substitute for our GAAP results.

Finally, this call in its entirety is being audio webcast on our Investor Relations website. An audio replay of this call will be available on our website shortly.

With that, I’d like to turn it over to Jack.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Thanks, Jason, and thank you everyone for joining us today. 2020 was a tough year for many. Our focus was to help our customers through it all, which required us to adapt and evolve quickly. I believe this is an important attribute for any organization and I’m proud we continue to demonstrate it.

We also took the opportunity to act more broadly by announcing our plans for our operations to be carbon net-zero by 2030 and launched our Bitcoin Clean Energy and net investment initiative, a $10 million commitment to support companies that will help drive adoption and efficiency of renewables within the Bitcoin ecosystem. We plan to reinvest any gains back into the funds and are exploring opening it up for participation by like-minded companies. We’ll share more details on our environmental and social initiatives next month in our 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. In addition, today we announced $170 million purchase of Bitcoin on top of the $50 million we bought in the fourth quarter. Why are we doing this? We believe the Internet needs a native currency and we believe Bitcoin is it. We believe it has the highest probability of empowering more people in the economy in a fair way. We’re doing a lot to ensure this from a product open source development and open patent perspective and by us owning Bitcoin, our incentives are aligned with skin in the game.

And now for some updates on our business. Cash App continue to see strong adoption, both from new and existing customers. In December, Cash App had more than 36 million monthly active customers, up 50% compared to last year. We saw customers increase their usage of products beyond peer to peer transactions, including use of our Visa Cash Card, Cash Boost and Bitcoin. Boost is our instant rewards program within our Cash Card that enables customers to receive unique discounts based on their location and other attributes. In the fourth quarter, active Boost customer spend double that of other Visa Cash Card customers. We also recently launched a special Boost, which a customer unlocks after receiving their first paycheck in the Cash App and a Bitcoin boost, giving people way to earn Bitcoin on all cash card purchases.

As more of the world has discovered the value of Bitcoin, Cash App continued its focus to make Bitcoin more accessible and more useful. One example of this is enabling people to change the default denomination unit from BTC and Satoshis, which is 100th million of a Bitcoin also known as SATs to help people realize, you don’t have to own a full Bitcoin and can stack SATs instead. In the fourth quarter, Bitcoin volumes per customer increased more than 2.5 times compared to the same period last year, mostly driven by buying activity of both existing and new customers. In 2020, more than 3 million customers bought or sold Bitcoin and Cash App and in January 2021 alone, more than 1 million customers bought Bitcoin for the first time.

Our seller ecosystem continue to grow upmarket and attract larger sellers as we saw mid-market sellers use 2.5 of our products on average in 2020. Nearly all mid-market sellers use our key management product to schedule staff and view real-time performance and sales analytics for their workforces. And in 2020, approximately half of our mid-market GPV came from sellers with integrations into our developer platform, which enables the data driven way to process payments using custom software, building e-commerce experiences and connect with existing business systems.

Our sales team has played an important role in our growth of market. In the fourth quarter, 40% of mid-market seller GPV came from sellers who had been engaged by our sales team. The team also focuses on educating existing sellers about our broader ecosystem. We use machine learning to identify sellers most likely to adopt more products and which of our solutions are likely to be most relevant. This help drive a 15% increase in product adoption among existing mid-market sellers in 2020. We plan to continue this work and intend to double our sales team in 2021.

So what’s our focus for the year ahead? For Cash App, we’re going to focus on increasing the transaction limits across the ecosystem, expand our deposit capabilities and increase the quality of our customer service, all in order to strengthen our foundation and reach new customers. We’re also going to double down on our commitment to Bitcoin and continue to look for new ways to connect our product lines within the Cash App. For the seller business, we will continue focus on growing our omnichannel capabilities, expand globally and increase our financial service offerings to sellers of all sizes.

And with that, over to Amrita.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jack. There are three topics I’d like to cover today. First, a look at our performance in 2020 and in the fourth quarter where we delivered strong gross profit growth. Second, an update on our business through mid-February and what this could mean for growth going forward. Third, a look at our cohort economics for Cash App and Seller, which give us confidence to invest for the long term.

Despite 2020 being a year of extreme uncertainty, our results in the fourth quarter and full year speaks to our ability to both help new customers adapt during a dynamic environment and reach new customers. In 2020, gross profit was $2.73 billion, up 45% year-over-year or 48% excluding Caviar.

It was a year of strong growth where we improved our gross profit growth rate over 2019 and also diversified our ecosystems. Seller generated $1.51 billion of gross profit in 2020, an increase of 8% compared to 2019. Our online channels delivered more than 50% GPC [Phonetic] growth year-over-year and became a growing portion of our mix. Cash App delivered incredible growth in 2020, up more than 2.5 times year-over-year to $1.23 billion in gross profit and now represents nearly half of the Company’s gross profit. We have continued to diversify Cash App business model with scale. In 2019, Cash App had only one revenue stream with $100 million in gross profit and in 2020, we had four with approximately $100 million or more each of which grew at over a 100% year-over-year.

2020 was also a year that we invested in our business and in our customers with compelling returns. We invested in our customers in a variety of ways including by accelerating critical product launches, allowing sellers to pause software subscriptions, helping sellers and individuals, access government funds and providing useful rewards for Cash App customers through Boost at a time they needed it most. We also invested in our business by continuing to build-out our teams to drive product innovation and by deploying go-to-market initiatives to expand our reach.

Let’s now turn to the fourth quarter, where gross profit was $804 million, up 52% year-over-year or 54% growth excluding Caviar. Looking at some of the drivers for the quarter, first, we’re seeing growing engagement and monetization with Cash App. In the fourth quarter, Cash App generated $377 million in gross profit, an increase of 162% year-over-year. Cash App benefits from the compounding effects of growing our customer base while also increasing engagement and monetization per customer. We saw these dynamics drive growth in the fourth quarter as we scaled our network to more than 36 million monthly transacting customers, an increase of 50% year-over-year. At the same time, we increased gross profit per monthly transacting active customer by 70% year-over-year to $41 in the fourth quarter.

By expanding the breadth of our product ecosystem, refining features and continuing to build on our foundation, we’ve driven greater engagement across our ecosystem. In 2020 and the fourth quarter, we increased adoption across all of our products beyond peer-to-peer for Cash App. Newer customers are coming to Cash App for our ecosystem and they have increasingly adopted multiple products such as Cash Card and Bitcoin within their first month after on-boarding.

Moving to Seller, where our omnichannel offerings are driving growth. Gross profit in the fourth quarter was $427 million, up 13% year-over-year with Seller GPV up 6% year-over-year. To help sellers adapt during the pandemic, we have continued to build-out our omnichannel capabilities and these offerings gain meaningful traction. Omnichannel and online sellers represented more than half of Seller GPV in the fourth quarter, which is up from one-third two years ago. Our mid-market category, which consists of Seller with more than $0.5 million in annual GPV is where we see our largest market opportunity for the Seller business and a focus area for our acquisition efforts. We saw strength here in the fourth quarter, despite the impact of the pandemic. Gross profit from our mid-market sellers grew 27% year-over-year, which is approximately 2 times the gross profit growth of our overall Seller business.

Looking at profitability, adjusted EBITDA was $185 million in the fourth quarter. The year-over-year increase was driven by gross profit growth and also benefited from the release of $43 million in transaction loss provisions related to our Seller business as actual loss rates trended more favorably than we had previously estimated.

Next, we wanted to share early trends in our Cash App and Seller businesses during the first quarter and what this could mean for growth going forward. In January, Cash App delivered gross profit growth of 164% year-over-year, a two-point improvement from the fourth quarter. We achieved strong acquisition of customers and drove increased product adoption with our highest monthly total of new transacting active customers for Bitcoin, stock brokerage and Cash Card. January growth benefited from government fund disbursements, which began during the last few days of December and led to an increase in fund pulled in to Cash App. These fund trends during the first three weeks of February, we estimate Cash App gross profit growth to be approximately 130% year-over-year. Growth in February decelerated compared to January or the impact from government funded disbursements normalized partly offset by continued strength in acquisition and peer to peer network volumes.

We are watchful of broader macro trends and any new policies, which could influence the pace of growth. As a reminder, we will start lapping particularly challenging growth comparisons in the second and third quarter of this year. In January, our Seller ecosystem achieved 15% gross profit growth, a 2 point improvement from the fourth quarter and GPV grew 5% year-over-year. Through the first three weeks of February, Seller GPV was up 2% year-over-year, a 3 point deceleration from January, but excluding the temporary impact of recent weather across regions in the US, we estimate seller GPV growth would have been comparable to January and we have seen an improvement in certain regions where restrictions have eased.

Looking ahead, we expect to continue to observe variability related to the macro environment and regional shelter-in-place restriction, which could impact our performance. We will also begin to lap the initial impact of the pandemic on the Seller business in late March. Seller gross profit grew faster than GPV in 2020, in part due to higher transaction margins, which benefited from a greater mix of debit card-not-present transaction, higher average transaction sizes and from our card present price change implemented in November 2019. We expect to lap these mix changes for transaction margins and for transaction margins to normalize towards the end of the first quarter, so GPV may grow faster than transaction profit as in person transactions resume in future quarters.

Finally, in 2021, we are investing for long-term profitable growth. Given the opportunity ahead of us, we expect to increase non-GAAP operating expenses excluding risk cost by 41% year-over-year or an incremental $800 million to $900 million compared to 2020 level. We intend on continuing to invest where we see attractive returns even in the face of variability in macro trends. And as a result, adjusted EBITDA margins may vary depending on top line growth. Both our Cash App and Seller ecosystems have delivered strong cohort economics including acquisition, retention, paybacks and returns on investments.

Cash App has proved out and scaled a strong business model. We have acquired new transacting active customers for less than $5 on average in paid marketing through 2020. For existing customers, we’ve increased their engagement over-time with gross profit retention of more than 130% for each of the last three years. As a result, we’ve achieved strong returns on investment at 6 times or greater over a three-year period with 2020 cohorts pacing ahead of even this and we intend to ramp-up investments into new marketing channels and strategies in 2021.

We have also been encouraged by Sellers’ cohort economics. We saw strong customer acquisition in 2020 on-boarding our largest cohort of new sellers on a gross profit basis, which is pacing at an estimated five quarter payback. In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, gross profit retention stabilized down approximately 10% year-over-year in the second half of the year. Our more recently acquired Seller cohorts have seen a stronger rebound in gross profit than older cohorts, which is partly driven by stronger acquisition of larger sellers in recent years. Prior to the pandemic, Seller had achieved positive gross profit retention and returns on investment of 3 times over three years as sellers stayed with Square and grew their businesses with us. Looking ahead to a recovery, we plan to continue investing behind these strong returns to reach new sellers and drive growth.

In summary, we remain committed to our purpose of economic empowerment by continuing to serve our existing customers and reaching those in new markets. We’re focused on driving long-term profitable growth and are eager to invest behind the compelling returns for both our Cash App and Seller ecosystems.

I’ll now turn it back to the operator to start the Q&A portion of the call.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question is from the line of Tien-Tsin Huang with JPMorgan.

Tien-Tsin Huang — JPMorgan Chase & Co. — Analyst

Thanks so much. Nice to speak to you all. Just a lot of good information here. I have a big picture, maybe a simple question on priorities. If you’re investing a lot, it seems to make sense here. Are you prioritizing user acquisition first followed by improving engagement or product development across both ecosystems, given what you’re talking about here with low CAC and big ROI. I can definitely make the argument for you guys to spend more. So just your thoughts on acquisition versus engagement here in 2021?

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks for the question, Tien-Tsin. We have historically shown an ability to do both. When you think about our TAM expansion over the years from our last Investor Day in 2017 to our more recently disclosed TAM opportunity of $160 billion, we’ve grown TAM by $100 billion, $40 billion on the Seller business with new product launches, new geographic expansions and $60 billion on the Cash App ecosystem and we see an opportunity for further TAM expansion, investments in new products and in new markets and all of that is while also growing the base of our customers. Cash App grew by 50% in terms of monthly transacting customers at the end of this year to $36 million and we on-boarded our largest cohort of Square sellers during 2020 with each quarter growth on a year-over-year basis for our cohorts that we’ve added.

So we see an opportunity in both areas and we’ve shown again a track record of focus on both expansion of opportunity as well as going deeper in our existing markets. Maybe I’ll explain a little bit about what we’re seeing in terms of cohort economics that lead us to continue to want to invest in both areas. Dorsey mentioned, we’re planning to invest $800 million to $900 million in terms of incremental investments in 2021, that’s roughly 50% of that step-up will go towards sales and marketing and about a quarter of it will go towards R&D across both ecosystems. The final piece will go towards G&A, which continues to build on the foundation for the company. But as we think about that sales and marketing growth, what’s giving us the desire and confidence to lean in here are the cohort economics, which are really compelling as you think about the combination of both efficient acquisition and engagement on the existing products that we have let alone engagement on the products that we could be building in the future, we are building for the future.

With Cash App, we’ve seen a 6x ROI over three years on the back of efficient acquisition at less than $5 per customer, again calling upon our network effects — very strong network effects that where we’ve seen strong volumes in peer-to-peer and that continues to be a strong front door for us, but then also very strong gross profit retention at over 130% for each in the last three years as we’ve maintained the vast majority of our customers and they’ve grown on our platform. For the seller business similarly, we’ve seen cohort economics pacing at five quarter payback, 3x return on ROI over three years and historically prior to the pandemic, positive gross profit retention. So we see an opportunity in terms of the cohort economics that we’re driving to continue to lean in.

And finally, we do see an opportunity to drive further engagement with our existing products. When we think about as we mentioned within the Seller ecosystem continued increasing next to our mid-market sellers, larger sellers who tend to adopt more products — 2.5 products today, so we see an opportunity for uplift. When our sales team uses AI and ML technology, they see a 15% uplift in product adoption. And similarly for Cash App, we’ve seen in the first months that our Cash App customers on-board into our ecosystems, an increasing proclivity to adopt new products like stocks, like Bitcoin, like Cash Card, but there is so much more opportunity here, as we think about increasing product adoption for our current customer set to go even deeper to provide daily utility to those customers. So we’re really focused on both and have showed an track record here driving both acquisition engagement along with broader TAM expansion.

Tien-Tsin Huang — JPMorgan Chase & Co. — Analyst

For sure. Appreciate the thoughts and metrics.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Darrin Peller with Wolfe Research.

Darrin Peller — Wolfe Research LLC — Analyst

All right. Hey, thanks guys, and congrats on a good year, obviously a tough environment for everybody. So when we look at omnichannel and online being greater than 50% of total seller GPV, clearly the online and card-not-present experiences are resonating and we saw 12% GPV growth overall including cashier business and obviously helped by that mid-market for larger, larger business clients. I think it was up 27% there. Can you just touch on what’s resonating with both consumers and the merchant side and is Square’s offerings enabling this because the move from what you previously being much more card present centric to where you are now 50% omni has been pretty dramatic. And when we think about all of that, where do you see that going in terms of sustainability and investments you can make in that to keep that level of nearly sustainable 50% plus potentially. Thanks guys.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Hey Darrin, thanks for the question. So omnichannel is a really big part of our strategy because it’s not just focused on serving e-commerce or offline. It’s looking for opportunities in every single way that a business might attract customers that’s through marketplaces, that’s through the API. I think the most attractive thing is really its flexibility. We are now seeing a lot more of our mid-market sellers and larger sellers utilize our APIs and platform so that they can build custom solution and really make sure that they’re crafting the experience that they want. We think there is a continued great opportunity here that is going to be a big part of our focus on our roadmap for some time as we add new capabilities to the platform, as we add new methods and new channels for people to sell in.

The second part that I think differentiates us is we’re not just focused on one vertical, we are flexible enough to handle any vertical. And as I’ve talked about on previous calls, a lot of what we’re seeing today is creativity with sellers. They’re mixing and mashing up different verticals to have typically restaurant type businesses who are doing more retail things and vice versa and services are doing more retail. And we don’t really take a point of view on what category you should be. We want to make sure that we’re just there to help you make a sale, no matter what you are trying to sell and whatever channel you’re trying to sell it with.

So obviously we saw a lot of this momentum with COVID, as people open their eyes towards the rest of our platform and we quickly reprioritize a lot of our efforts to make sure that we could support that growth. And then we could enable more of it, but I don’t think that behavior is necessarily going away I think. And before COVID there were a lot of merchants who were hesitant to try new things or thing that was working, they wanted to stick with but [Technical Issues] people allowed themselves up and rise to more and they found a lot more efficiency and they found a lot more sales because of it. So we’re going to continue watching and learning, but we think, this is a pretty stable path for us.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

And Darrin, just to add. Yeah, just to add to your point about investments and sustainability. We’ve seen over a 50% growth from GPV from our online channels for about two years now. Now in 2020, we saw an acceleration in that Square Online growth compared to 2019 and we’re going to continue to push there in terms of our product development and feature richness. When you think about mid market as well, to your point, that’s our larger sellers now are 60% of seller GPV in the fourth quarter, up from 52% two years ago and with gross profit from mid market outpacing the blended seller average by 2 times and with our cohorts now coming in indexing to larger, we see an opportunity to continue to invest against the larger ecosystem.

When we think about addressable market for our larger sellers were less than 1% penetrated in that opportunity. And there’s three areas of investment to help us unlock that. First is marketing, which we’ve talked about. Awareness marketing around the broader ecosystem coupled with product specific campaign targeting the products that resonate with larger sellers, whether it’s vertical point of sale, online restaurants etc. Second is the sales team. We will be doubling the size of our sales team in 2021, so that we can continue to increase our outreach to larger sellers and then third, product. As Jack mentioned, our developer platform is really key for serving more complex seller needs, our vertical software. Additionally, these are some of the areas that we will be increasingly investing in to drive further opportunity here.

Darrin Peller — Wolfe Research LLC — Analyst

That’s really helpful. Thanks Amrita. Thanks, guys.

Operator

Now a question from a Cash App customer, Ignacio, I’m sorry if I mispronounce it. Ignacio Diaz-Garza.

Ignacio Diaz-Garza — Cash App Customer — Analyst

Hello, good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ignacio Diaz-Garza and I’m a Cash App customer and I’m a founder of a certain platform called OANDA [Phonetic]. I use Cash App to invest in stocks in Bitcoin, send money to friends as well as spending using the Cash Card. My question is does Cash App plan to provide more education for customers in its investing product, for example, adding more in-depth financials and illustrating and research reports regarding the stock?

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah, thank you for being a customer. We do plan on adding more educational resources. We think a big part of what we did both with Bitcoin and also with our stocks product is making sure that people have the information available to them to make informed decisions and we’ve done this recently by putting news articles right in the app. So you’ll be able to see all the latest Bitcoin news or all the latest news on any particular stock that you visit. And we created two instructional books for both Bitcoin and for stocks and we think there’s a lot of opportunity to do even more within the product and also as we look at improving our customer service as I mentioned in my opening remarks, there is going to be more opportunity to do things there as well. So we think education is a big part of what we need to do and it’s definitely on the roadmap.

Ignacio Diaz-Garza — Cash App Customer — Analyst

Perfect. Thank you so much.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Lisa Ellis with MoffettNathanson.

Lisa Ellis — MoffettNathanson LLC — Analyst

Good afternoon. Thanks for taking my question. Good steps here on Cash App. I believe a year ago, the gross profit mix within Cash App was roughly 60% Instant Deposit, if I’m remembering right, 30% Cash Card and about 10% in Bitcoin and other miscellaneous fees. But obviously, a lot has happened in the last year, and I know you called out the high adoption rates of some of the other products over the course of last year. Can you give some updates on what the current GP mix looks like for Cash App and how you see that evolving? Thank you.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Thanks for the question, Lisa. So let me sort of step back and talk about the strong unit economics and the growth of the business model over-time. I spoke a little bit earlier already to efficient acquisition driven through network effects for growing our customer base while also growing per customer engagement and monetization through strong retention within Cash App, retention at over 130% and ARPU, gross profit per customer growing 70% year-over-year to $41 in the fourth quarter.

When you think about how we’ve been able to do that is the growth in the breadth of the platform for Cash App with now four revenue streams, driving more than $100 million each, approximately $100 million to more than $100 million each in gross profit in 2020 versus only one back in 2019. And that includes, as you mentioned, some of them Instant Deposit Cash Card, Cash for Business and Bitcoin now. But we still think, we are in the early days. As customers have used multiple products on the platform, they’ve generated three to four times greater gross profit historically and this has led to our growing gross profit per customer and we’re still early here, Cash Card is — has our strongest adoption to date and still remains at roughly one in four in terms of adoption from the monthly active base into the bottom of the active base into monthly Cash Card usage. And Bitcoin is at about one in 10.

So we see a real opportunity to drive further adoption into our existing base of products and with our existing base of customers and then layer on top of that, the opportunity to grow the customer base and grow the product set over-time. One of the really interesting ways that I think Cash App has to drive that sort of differential product adoption is the Boost aspect of Cash Card. Boost have been an interesting lever for us, it’s been a powerful tool to drive engagement and adoption, not only with Cash Card, but also to graduate our customers to a broader ecosystem of products so that we can diversify their experience, provide greater daily utility and ultimately build multiple revenue streams within our app.

Within as you think about Boost as a tool within Cash Card, it’s differentiated, in that it provides, it expands access really to instant rewards. No credit profile or fee required and those rewards can be personalized to the customer in real-time. And so it has been an acquisition tool for us and it’s also been an engagement driver, Boost active spend 2 times more on their Cash Card than other cards active. But what we started experimenting within the fourth quarter is how Boost is a differentiated tool to graduate customers to the broader ecosystem of products.

In the fourth quarter as Bitcoin demand was growing, we launched a Bitcoin Boost, where Cash Card customers could get rewards in Bitcoin and what we saw there was that half the customers boosted were new to Bitcoin and nearly a third of those who were new to Bitcoin went on to purchase their — make their first Bitcoin purchase in the following month. Similarly, we drove Boost with paycheck deposits, where we launched a unique Boost for new direct deposit customers and we’ve experimented with Flash Boost for a given time or for merchants that will broadcast over social media and so those have given greater awareness within the Cash App ecosystem, the broader product that which I think is a key lever that we have moving forward and how we can influence product adoption and ultimately growth of multiple revenue streams within Cash App.

Lisa Ellis — MoffettNathanson LLC — Analyst

Terrific, thank you.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Timothy Chiodo with Credit Suisse.

Timothy Chiodo — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Great, thanks a lot for taking my question. I wanted to touch on Credit Karma. Maybe you could give some added context around the e-tax filing opportunity for Cash App whether it’d be retention, reactivation, new users and also how this could be something that we really should look for in Q1 for years to come. And then also a little bit more on the potential to turn some of these users into direct deposit starting with your tax refund and then obviously hopefully, payroll down the road.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah. We saw pretty obvious opportunity in acquiring Credit Karma. As we’ve talked about on these calls, our roadmap consist of making sure that we’re focused on the most critical needs for our customers in accessing the economy and providing them really simple tools to empower them. Tax was obviously a big part of that. And anything we can do to make it easier for people to manage and file their taxes is something we’re signing up for. More than 2 million individuals filed their taxes using Credit Karma Tax last year and a lot of these solutions are pretty, pretty complicated and time consuming and as we’ve done with all of our products within Cash App and throughout the Seller ecosystem, we want to take a very strong point of view that they should be simple and work really hard to simplify them as much as we can.

And as to your other question, we think any of these critical solutions to problems people are having, generally accessing the financial system will lead to using other products in our ecosystem. This is our whole strategy. People might come in because they receive money from a friend using the peer-to-peer aspect. And then may discover the ability to buy stocks or buy Bitcoin then discover that they can get a card and they can get their paycheck deposited to it and now they can [Indecipherable] taxes with it.

So each one of these things we believe positively reinforces the other and we have people who are hiring us to serve multiple jobs instead of being dependent and overly dependent upon just one, which would be a single point of failure for us. So we think there’s a lot of opportunity here and we’re starting with Cash App. There is probably more we can do on the Seller side as well, but it’s a really strong start and one we’re pretty excited about.

Timothy Chiodo — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Great, thanks a lot. And I had a sort of follow-up, but it sounds like you kind of touched on it. I was wondering, if there was anything you could mention in terms of maybe there is an opportunity to leverage the Credit Karma tax filing assets into the Seller ecosystems, but it sounds like maybe that’s down the road.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah, that’s the other benefit of our ecosystem strategy and the fact that we have to is that a lot of what we’ve built for Cash App might be able to finance for easily into Seller and vice versa and we’ve demonstrated that in the past. So we expect a lot more of those internal efficiencies and eventual future sharing as time goes on.

Timothy Chiodo — Credit Suisse — Analyst

Great. Okay, thanks a lot for taking those questions.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our next question is from the line of Harshita Rawat with Bernstein.

Harshita Rawat — Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC. — Analyst

Hi, good afternoon. Thank you for taking my question. So you disclosed Cash App users is 36 million, up 50% year-over-year. Now as you look at your user base today and do competitive benchmarking, how much overlap do you see between Cash App users and users of other in their platform and also how does the customer acquisition and engagement of Cash App different versus your competitors? Thank you.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah. So I — back to the previous answer, look, I think our greatest strength, both in Cash App and Seller is that fact that we are creating ecosystem of tools and solutions for people. We’re not focused on just being peer-to-peer or just being stock investment or just being Bitcoin purchase but finding the simplest and easiest and most successful path for each we believe is going to be the strongest approach. And of course there is probably some overlap in many of those, but in our thesis, and what we’re driving towards is when you find everything in one place and it’s super easy and you can do things because of the connections that you can do on another platforms because they’re all in one app. They’re all in one service. That ultimately is the winning service and the winning thing. So we imagine there’s a lot we can do and we’ve shown this — we’ve shown some of these things like the Boost program and that tie to direct deposit that other services just aren’t able to do.

So in terms of acquisition, we don’t have to be focused on just one thing. We need to show that like someone coming in for peer-to-peer is the easiest way to send money ever. And once they come in for that that it’s very simple for them to discover everything else that we offer. So we’re really looking internally and inward at how we make all these features more accessible and bring them to the surface for people so that they can, so they can activate them right away and start using them and not have to go to multiple apps to do the things they want to do every single day. And the same is true, I say all that [Indecipherable] but the same is true for the Seller business as well.

Harshita Rawat — Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. LLC. — Analyst

Thank you so much.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Josh Beck with KBCM.

Josh Beck — KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. — Analyst

Thanks for taking the question. I wanted to follow-up a little bit more on Boost, it certainly seems like it’s expanded beyond rewards program and you’re finding lots of other used cases to drive new product adoption. The other thing that seems to be happening is you’re acquiring a lot of scale with respect to MAUs, with respect to spending pattern, spending category. So I’m curious have you had or progressed much on the advertiser discussions in terms of maybe wanting to help fund some of those rewards or should we really think about it as it’s really in a heavy engagement in multi-product adoption phase and monetization perhaps via advertising contribution is something that’s further down the road.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Hi Josh.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah, you’re pointing to — sorry, Amrita. You’re pointing to the potential, but our focus right now is we think there’s a lot of experiments that we can run that will indicate like the ultimate directions that we should go with the business program. I’m really excited about the location aspect, being able to understand where someone is and specifically like what local sellers around them and offer them a reward that they’re actually going to value and actually going to use and do so instantly is a really, really powerful idea. And we can expand that even more by opening up down the line, but this is another area where it shows the strength of having these two ecosystems, both on the service side and also on the individual side. But we’re still in the phase of making sure that we’re building a product that people value that is extremely easy, you don’t even have to think about it in order to use it and continue looking for opportunities to broaden it, but right now focus on making sure all the capabilities and the attributes are there and it is just getting stronger and stronger over there.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

And I’d just add Josh that we have the ability to be dynamic in how we should expand with respect to Boost the way we’ve built the program is a flexible dynamic and potentially personalized program. And so we’ve been able to manage our cost here and return more efficiently and frankly on a week-by-week basis. About less than 5% of Cash Card transactions were boosted in the fourth quarter, so we sort of see Boost is punching above its weight frankly in terms of its ability to impact the broader ecosystem, given the relatively only one in 20 transactions are actually boosted. It really shows Cash Card utility extend beyond Boost. And of course, we’re working on expanding our merchant relationships. We’ve seen Boost ability to drive or lift an acquisition at a compelling and low customer acquisition cost for various partners. So we’ll continue to be working with them.

On Cash Card spend more broadly, we’ve seen average spend per customer increased in the first — fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis with continued mix of spending very diverse across food, grocery, gas, utilities, retail and along with growth in card-not-present and mobile wallet use cases during COVID. So there are multiple ways that we can use the card program coupled with the Boost program to drive unique returns for our customers and increasingly potential for merchants as well.

Josh Beck — KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. — Analyst

Okay. Sounds like lots of levers there. So appreciate the context from both of you. Have a great day.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Dan Dolev with Mizuho.

Dan Dolev — Mizuho Securities — Analyst

Thank you and thanks for taking my question. So Jack, in the past you talked about kind of the Holy Grail being connecting the two ecosystems and you came up with the Cash by Cash App [Indecipherable] recently and we think this is maybe an attempt to think about how they connected two ecosystems and then down the road, maybe even offer like an alternative check-out. Can you talk about kind of the long-term strategic vision of this move and what it means for the future? Thank you.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Yeah. The team did an amazing job with Cash by Cash App. So we want to dig around. Cash is definitely a rich culture and we want to make sure that we’re emphasizing that as much as we can. We have a really cool customer base and they love the Cash App and we wanted to ensure that that people could express out in various ways and that’s why we launched the apparel line, but it also gave us an opportunity to demonstrate both the power of having something like Square Online Store in our company and also what it means to be able to pay with the Cash App directly. And this is obviously early, but you can imagine where it might go as we make it even faster, we make it even easier, and I think it draws both on the Cash App ecosystem and has acquisition opportunities there and also for the Seller ecosystem and as an opportunity there.

And when you pair with things like what we can do with Boost as well, we have a pretty powerful way to drive a lot of traffic and connect all the dots. So as we’ve talked about in this call, I think there’s a lot of opportunities between the two ecosystems and we are going to explore the most important ones. We’ve done a lot of internal connections between the two ecosystems and now we’re focused on more of the customer-facing connections and I believe they’re quite powerful. So, and I think both Cash App and the Seller business has an opportunity to strengthen each other and we’re showing that off a little bit with Cash by Cash App, but there is a lot more to come.

Dan Dolev — Mizuho Securities — Analyst

Thank you. Well, thanks again. Amazing results. Appreciate it.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Thank you.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of George Mihalos.

George Mihalos — Cowen and Company — Analyst

Thank you for taking my question and congrats on very strong results. Again, just wanted to ask, the strength that you’re seeing with the mid-market sellers, how vertical specific is that Or is it sort of broad-based? I know, you have a number of very vertical specific solutions out there that are designed to resonate with somewhat larger merchants. And also the 40% of sales coming in from your sales force efforts, what was that number maybe a year ago? Thank you.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Maybe I can start us off here. Thanks for the question, George. What we’re seeing with mid-market sellers is fairly broad-based strength, particularly during COVID, if you think about the pairing of strengths in our omnichannel efforts as well as strengths moving up market, we’ve been able to progress in our ability to serve restaurants. You can think about just even more recently, the couple of products that we’ve launched where that helped many restaurants adapt quickly in a changing environment without having to charge market [Indecipherable] to them, you can think of that as the Interactive Kitchen Display System on-demand and Seller power delivery and QR codes for self-service. That helped us unlock — help sellers adapt, restaurants adapt and help us unlock going upmarket with restaurants.

When we think about verticals that have found success, relative speaking success in this environment, we have seen the strongest year-over-year growth in verticals like health and fitness, home and repair and retail verticals in the fourth quarter as well as those verticals has helped — have continued to find ways to adapt in this challenging environment. And as we think about the sales team, again — looking given the strong returns that we’ve seen here five quarter payback historically with the sales team, we want to double down on that. This year, we expect to double the size of our sales team this year and that 40% sort of engagement of our mid-market sales coming via the sales team has grown over-time, as we’ve enabled greater efficiency for our sales team through AI and ML technologies. And as mid-market sellers has taken on more products on our ecosystem, we see as I mentioned earlier, mid-market sellers taking on 2.5 products on average in our ecosystem. And we think given the variety of the breadth of products that we provide across hardware, software payments and financial services, that there is an even greater opportunity to offer those additional products to larger sellers over-time to be able to meet their more complex needs.

George Mihalos — Cowen and Company — Analyst

Thank you for the color.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Dan Perlin with RBC.

Daniel Perlin — RBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Thanks. Good evening. And there’s a lot to digest here, so I appreciate all the information. The question I have is, maybe, for Amrita, can you just talk a little bit about the cadence of this investment that you guys have outlined that understanding you highlighted $110 million or so in the first quarter, it kind of suggest that maybe it’s a little more back-end loaded. And I just feel like given all this opportunity that is facing the company, it might have been bigger and then I think, if I’m not mistaken, you also took up the high-end of that range, maybe $50 million. So I’m just wondering, what was the incremental opportunity that you saw that you wanted to seize upon? Thank you.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Yeah. So the overall investment step-up that we envisioned for 2021 is 800 and 900. Previously we said 800 to 850. This was really just about us completing our annual plan process, our budgeting process and seeing opportunities to lean in given the strong results we’ve driven from a cohort economic and payback in our life perspective that we were talking about earlier. So we see this is really just a refinement of the earlier numbers we shared with you and a reflection of the opportunity ahead.

In terms of how those investments spread across the business and then how they spread across the year as you think about the ecosystems, we plan to invest directly about 60% of that step-up in to Cash App and 40% into Seller.

And in terms of areas of spend about half of the step-up going into sales and marketing and about a quarter each in the product development and G&A as we build upon the foundation and expand our product breadth.

In terms of timing, as mentioned, Q1 is an important quarter for us to lean into investments from a sales and marketing perspective, especially if you think about the Seller ecosystem, where many sellers are thinking about, who they are going to hire for their various needs coming out of the holiday period and so that is an area that we want to invest. But if you think about the broader 800 and 900 of course there is a component there that’s related to hiring and that hiring will stage throughout the year and compound in terms of its impact throughout the year. So that’s a little bit of the progression that you see as well from quarter to quarter.

Daniel Perlin — RBC Capital Markets — Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Operator

And our last question is from Jason Kupferberg with Bank of America.

Jason Kupferberg — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Hey, thanks. Just a two-parter on Bitcoin. First off, the revenue there. I think it was only up around 7% or 8% quarter-over-quarter even though, obviously the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed and there obviously been lot of retail trading. So I was curious if there were any noteworthy call-out there. And then just wanted to get your guy’s perspective on pros and cons of Bitcoin versus the types of Central Bank digital currencies that are being discussed more actively by various governments around the world. Thank you.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

I can maybe hit the first topic that you had Jason in terms of Bitcoin quarter-over-quarter growth. We’ve continued to see strong adoption with 3 million customers across Bitcoin throughout the year for Cash App and in January saw 1 million new to Bitcoin in the year — in the months. So increasing awareness that building through time and I think you’ll see that reflected in the results as well with Bitcoin gross profit, which is how we sort of anchor to the economic impact to our business, Bitcoin gross profit growing meaningfully on a year-over-year basis and also on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

As we think about the opportunity as well from a volumes perspective, Bitcoin in the fourth quarter grew 2.5 times on a year-over-year basis in Cash App and continues to be a strong front door for us as we see product adoption increasing for customers in their first months on Cash App. So we’re excited about the opportunity that we see here. But you’re right, it’s still early days, only about one in 10 customers on Cash App are using with their current product and we see an opportunity to grow that over-time.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

And our thesis around Bitcoin is really quite simple. We believe the Internet will have a native currency. The Internet has broken through so many barriers all around the world for every industry and we do think money and currency are a big part of our future and it doesn’t take a lot to imagine that certainly that will exist and that it will be Bitcoin. And the reason why is, it is completely open. It is driven by consensus. It is something that anyone can see and no particular third-party can actually control and that really speaks to the principles of the Internet. And as more people participate not only in investments, but also through products and through development, it gets even more trusted and more solid and more secure and something that more people can utilize. And that’s our goal is to help people understand what their point is, what it can be used for and make it a whole lot more useful and accessible for anything that they want to do on the Internet.

Jason Kupferberg — Bank of America Merrill Lynch — Analyst

Thanks on the perspectives.

Amrita Ahuja — Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Jack Dorsey — Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder of Twitter

Thank you.

Operator

And I’d like to turn the call back over to the company for closing remarks.

Jason Lee — Vice President, Head of Investor Relations

Thank you everyone for joining our call. I would like to remind everyone that we will be hosting our first quarter 2021 earnings call on May 6, 2021. Thanks again for participating today.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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