Economy

Klarna becomes Europe's highest-valued private fintech

Klarna becomes Europe's highest-valued private fintech”

Swedish payments provider Klarna Bank AB said on Tuesday it has raised $650 million from investors led by Silver Lake, lifting its valuation to $10.65 billion, as it seeks to take on rivals such as PayPal and Australia's AfterPay in the fiercely competitive US market.

To date, the Klarna app has more than 12 million monthly active users worldwide, with 55,000 daily downloads, which the company claims is nearly three times as many downloads as its closest competitor over the past year. It was last valued in August 2019 at $5.5 bn, now making it the joint most important personal fintech in Europe, however has actually considering that delighted in quick development in the United States with its incomes increasing by more than a 3rd in the very first half of this year regardless of the pandemic.

Swedish online payments business Klarna has become the most valuable financial technology start-up in Europe after its valuation rose to more than $10bn (£7.7bn) in a new funding round.

The funding round is led by Silver Lake, alongside GIC - Singapore's sovereign wealth fund - as well as funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and HMI Capital.

"We are at a true inflection point in both retail and finance", said CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski. They join current investors including Sequoia Capital, Bestseller, Dragoneer, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

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Klarna said it has recently seen a surge in demand, "adding more than 35,000 new retailers during the first half of 2020" alone - thereby bringing the total number of brands and retail partners to more than 200,000.

Klarna offers an app-based "buy now pay later" service, allowing users to shop online and pay in interest-free installments, while Klarna pays the seller. Klarna's losses have jumped seven-fold for the first half of the year.

Klarna said it will use the new funding to invest in its shopping service and grow its global presence, particularly targeting expansion in the U.S., where it said it now has more than 9 million customers.

The ceo said Klarna's "unique proposition, consumer preference and global retailer network will prove an excellent platform for further growth".



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