Swedish fintech Klarna is Europe’s latest decacorn startup after raising $650 million at a $10.65 billion valuation

Sebastian Siemiatkowski_Subway_Copped_Landscape

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A global pandemic doesn’t appear to have stemmed the appetite for disruptive companies in financial services from investors, as Swedish startup Klarna becomes Europe’s latest decacorn. 

Klarna, founded in 2005, specializes in “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) retail and has just raised $650 million at a $10.65 billion valuation from Silver Lake and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC. 

The deal is notable for bringing Klarna’s valuation above $10 billion, which makes it Europe’s most valuable private fintech company and fourth worldwide. This is expected to be the startup’s final private funding round before a potential IPO. 

Klarna claims to have 90 million customers worldwide with 12 million monthly active users on its app. Its service allows shoppers to pay for items in installments or in full at a later date.

Despite making a loss of $59.8 million between January and June this year the company has piggybacked positive retail sentiment on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A recent survey by consultancy firm McKinsey found that more than 75% of consumers in the US have tried new brands, places to shop, or methods of shopping during COVID-19. Similarly, 82% of consumers who tried digital shopping methods indicated that they would continue using it. 

The US remains a core focus for Klarna where it has focused much of its recent expansion.

“We are at a true inflection point in both retail and finance,” “Sebastian Siemiatkowski, co-founder and CEO of Klarna, said. “The shift to online retail is now truly supercharged and there is a very tangible change in the behaviour of consumers who are now actively seeking services which offer convenience, flexibility and control in how they pay and an overall superior shopping experience.”

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Klarna has added more than 35,000 new retailers during the first half of 2020 to its network of more than 200,000 retail partners. The company’s existing investors include BlackRock, HMI Capital, Merian Chrysalis, TCV, Northzone and Bonnier, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Permira, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bestseller Group and Ant Group. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s how the CEO of $5.5 billion fintech startup Klarna adapted Amazon’s two-pizza meeting theory to restructure and scale faster in the US

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Source:: Business Insider


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