Klarna increased its valuation by 50% to $ 45.6 billion in just three months as the buy-it-now-payout company raised new capital from Japan’s SoftBank.
The new valuation, against $ 31 billion in March and $ 11 billion last September, consolidates the Swedish group’s status as the most valuable private financial company in Europe.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led the $ 638 million fundraiser and joined investors such as Silver Lake, Chinese group Ant, H&M and Sequoia Capital ahead of an initial public offering expected in the coming years.
“Klarna’s growth is based on a deep understanding of changing consumer buying behaviors, which we believe is accelerating,” said Yanni Pipilis, Managing Partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Unlike SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1, which was largely funded with outside money, much of it from the Middle East, the second Vision Fund is made up entirely of money from the Japanese investment group.
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said last month he would increase the company’s funding for Vision Fund 2 from $ 10 billion to $ 30 billion as the Japanese group increased its investments in start-ups private across the world.
Klarna is quickly launching into the United States and has told investors that its US business will soon be “several times larger than our current business today,” according to documents viewed by the Financial Times. The volume of payments processed by Klarna in the United States jumped 296% in the fourth quarter, according to the same information provided to potential investors.
Klarna, which is regulated as a bank in Sweden, positions its offering as a “super app”, used by consumers not only for payments, but also for shopping and retail banking.
However, he faces challenges with the growing political and regulatory control of businesses to buy now, pay later, after worrying about whether they are pushing consumers into buying products they can’t afford. to permit.
Klarna’s app encountered issues on May 27, when approximately 90,000 users were able to briefly view other customers’ information, including in some cases name, address, email address, and phone number.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, managing director of Klarna, called the “self-inflicted” incident “so sad and frustrating,” and it caught the attention of data protection regulators.
Siemiatkowski has just returned from the UK as Klarna continues to see London as a possible venue for her stock exchange listing, even though the US still appears to be the frontrunner.
He hinted at the Financial Times last month that if the UK changes regulations, it could increase its appeal to Klarna. “As Brexit has happened, it gives London the opportunity to write even better regulations for the financial sector. This will benefit London outside the EU. . . People expected all the banks to walk away [from the UK]; I think it’s the opposite, “he added.
Speaking on Thursday after SoftBank’s investment, Klarna’s chief executive continued his attack on ‘interest-and-fee revolving credit’ and touted buy now, pay later as better suited to consumer needs .
Additional reporting by Arash Massoudi in London