Klarna raised its valuation by 50% to US$45.6 billion in just three months because the buy-and-pay company raised new funds from Japan’s SoftBank.
New valuation-from $31 billion March and US$11 billion Last September-consolidated the Swedish group’s position as the most valuable private financial technology company in Europe.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $638 million funding round and joined investors such as Silver Lake, China Ant Group, H&M, and Sequoia Capital before the touted IPO in the next few years.
“Klarna’s growth is based on a deep understanding of how consumers’ buying behavior changes, and we think this evolution is accelerating,” said Yanni Pipilis, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Unlike SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1 which is mainly funded by external funds, most of which come from the Middle East, the difference is that the second Vision Fund is funded entirely by Japanese investment groups.
Last month, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said that as the Japanese group increases its investment in global private start-ups, he will increase the company’s funding for Vision Fund 2 from US$10 billion to US$30 billion.
According to the materials seen by the British “Financial Times”, Klarna is rapidly entering the United States and told investors that its US business will soon be “several times larger than our current business.” Based on the same information provided to potential investors, Klarna’s processing of payments in the United States increased by 296% in the fourth quarter.
Klarna, which is regulated by banks in Sweden, positions its products as “super apps” that consumers use not only for payment, but also for shopping and retail banking.
However, it is facing the challenge of increasing political and regulatory scrutiny, that is, after companies worry about whether they will prompt consumers to buy goods they cannot afford, buy them immediately and pay later.
Klarna’s apps include problem On May 27, approximately 90,000 users were able to briefly view information about other customers, including names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers in some cases.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, called the “self-inquired” incident “sad and frustrating” and attracted the attention of data protection regulators.
Siemiatkowski has just returned from the UK because Klarna continues to see London as a possible place for its shares to go public, even though the US still seems to be the most popular market.
he Hint It was told to the Financial Times last month that if the UK changes its regulation, it may increase the attractiveness of Klarna. “With Brexit happening, London has an opportunity to develop better regulations for the financial industry. This will benefit London, which stands outside the European Union…. It is expected that all banks will move away. [from the UK]; I think the situation is just the opposite,” he added.
Speaking after SoftBank’s investment on Thursday, Klarna’s CEO continued to attack “revolving credit full of interest and expenses” and touted that buying now and paying later is more suitable for consumers’ needs.
Additional reporting by Arash Massoudi in London