Klarna increased its valuation by 50 percent to $ 45.6 billion in just three months as the acquired company, paid for later, raised fresh capital from Japan’s SoftBank.
SoftBank’s Vision 2 Fund led the $ 639 million fundraising round and joins investors including Silver Lake, Ant Group of China, H&M and Sequoia Capital ahead of a highly announced initial public offering in the coming years. .
“Klarna’s growth is based on a deep understanding of how consumer buying behaviors are changing, an evolution we believe is accelerating,” said Yanni Pipilis, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Unlike SoftBank’s Vision 1 Fund, which was largely financed by external money, largely from the Middle East, the second Vision Fund is made up of money purely from the Japanese investment group.
Last month, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said he would increase the company’s funding of Vision Fund 2 from $ 10 billion to $ 30 billion as the Japanese group increased investments in private start-ups. world.
Klarna is pushing rapidly into the United States and has told investors that its U.S. business will soon be “several times larger than our current business,” according to material seen by the Financial Times. The volume of payments processed by Klarna in the United States jumped 296 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the same information provided to future investors.
Chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski told the Financial Times on Thursday that Klarna saw a particularly large opportunity in the United States because of the “excessive use” of credit cards here and a move by millennials to rely more on to debit cards.
Klarna, which is regulated as a bank in Sweden, positions its offering as a “super app”, used by consumers not only for payments, but for shopping and even for retail banking.
However, it faces challenges with the growing political and regulatory scrutiny of buying now, paying companies later to worry about whether to push consumers to buy goods they can’t afford.
Klarna’s app had problems on May 27 when about 90,000 users were able to briefly view other customers ’information, including in some cases name, address, email and phone number.
Siemiatkowski previously called the incident “self-inflicted” “so sad and frustrating,” and drew the attention of data protection regulators.
Siemiatkowski has just returned from the UK as Klarna continues to look to London as a possible place for her listing on the stock exchange, although the US still seems to be the favorites.
He continued sing and praise of the UK and London, saying he had been “very deeply and truly impressed” by what he saw in London. He criticized the often “really bad” regulations passed by the EU and said the UK had a “great opportunity” to become a global hub for fintech. “There is an awareness and interest in this topic,” he added.
Klarna is now rated just as high as Spotify, the Stockholm-based music streaming service, and a whopping distance from Nordea, the Nordics ’largest bank.
Siemiatkowski said the proceeds from SoftBank and others could be used for acquisitions while an IPO would make sense not to raise capital but to provide “liquidity” to its employees who have stock options and as “we may want to do more M&A “. But he added that he was “a little nervous” about the frustration of the markets right now: “None of us are in a super hurry.”
Additional reports from Miles Kruppa in San Francisco and Arash Massoudi in London
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