In a round led by SoftBank – and featuring participation from Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management, and WestCap Group – consumer payments pioneer Klarna has raised $639 million in funding. The investment brings the company a valuation of $46 billion at a time when the buy now pay later trend is reshaping consumer financing
“Consumers continue to reject interest- and fee-laden revolving credit and are moving toward debit while simultaneously seeking retail experiences that better meet their needs,” Klarna founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said. “More transparent and convenient alternatives align with evolving global consumer preferences and drive worldwide growth.”
A Finovate alum since 2012, Stockholm, Sweden-based Klarna was among the innovators in “after-delivery payment” which enabled buyers to receive products before payment was due, with the facilitating company taking on all credit and fraud risk for online merchants. To state the obvious, Klarna’s approach to consumer financing has caught on in the years since with a wave of companies across the globe launching their own “buy now pay later” options – especially of late. Today, with this investment, Klarna is Europe’s biggest fintech unicorn, with more than $1.2 billion in 2020 revenues, and more than 18 million customers in the U.S. alone. The company’s payment options are available at nearly a quarter of the top U.S. retailers, and can be found in 17 markets around the world. Klarna’s most recent offering, Pay in 4, is a full embrace of the buy now pay later format, giving consumers the opportunity to pay for purchases over time in four, interest-free payments.
In addition to being the highest-valued private fintech in Europe, Klarna is now the #2 fintech in terms of valuation in the world – behind Stripe. And as part of the GiveOne initiative launched by Klarna earlier this year, the company will direct 1% of this week’s investment to “initiatives supporting planet health.”
“Klarna is really transforming and disrupting corporate giving by not only implementing a long-term commitment but also by enabling others to do the same,” explained Nina Siemiatkowski, founder and CEO of Milkywire, a social impact platform that serves as Klarna’s strategic partner in the GiveOne project. “We hope that many more companies follow their lead and support our planet by funding those who are on the frontlines making impactful change on a daily basis.”