Cash App founder and former Square CTO Bob Lee dies at 43

5 Apr 2023

Bob Lee. Image: MobileCoin

Tech leaders have been sharing their shock at the death of Lee, who was seminal in the development of Android.

Bob Lee, the tech entrepreneur and angel investor who created popular payments service Cash App, has reportedly passed away.

Lee was a well-known personality in the tech sector, having made his mark as one of the first developers working on Google’s Android operating system in its early years. He later become the chief technology officer at Square, now known as Block, which is around the time he founded Cash App.

Most recently, 43-year-old Lee was the chief product officer of MobileCoin, a peer-to-peer crypto start-up based in San Francisco that he first joined in early 2021.

News of his death was first reported by NBC Bar Area, when sources told the outlet that a man who was stabbed near San Francisco’s Rincon Hill early Tuesday morning had been identified as Bob Lee.

Soon after the news broke, many in the tech world took to social media to express their shock and grief.

“Bob was like a brother to me,” MobileCoin CEO Joshua Goldbard wrote on Twitter. “He came into my life like a fever dream and helped build Moby [MobileCoin]. Moby was his dream, his vision. Bob believed that we have a right to privacy in the 21st century. That belief is Moby.

“As a lifelong Bay Area resident, I have more questions than answers tonight. I don’t know how to fix what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t working in our grey city,” he added. Not much is known yet about the circumstances leading to Lee’s death.

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who is now CEO of Block, also acknowledged Lee’s death hours after it became public.

“It’s real. Getting calls. Heartbreaking. Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App,” he wrote on Nostr, a decentralised social media platform.

Lee was heavily involved in the start-up ecosystem and invested in a broad range of tech companies including SpaceX, Clubhouse, Figma, Tile, Faire, Orchid, Addressable, Nana, Ticket Fairy, Gowalla, Asha, SiPhox, Netswitch and Found.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic