Klarna: The horror of traditional banks


"I made every mistake you can only make as a boss", Sebastian Siemiatkowski described his first years as co-founder and boss of the Swedish payment service provider Klarna. Lack of leadership skills and experience in dealing with employees would have caused him many sleepless nights in the first time. First of all, he would have been heavy-handed with the delegation, so that he was almost buried under an avalanche of work.

Well, there could not have been so many mistakes in the early days of Klarna. By now, fintech, co-founded by 37-year-old Sweden, is Europe's most valuable startup. After another round of financing of the unlisted company has been successfully completed, becomes Siemiatkowskis company valued at around 5 billion euros,

The son of Polish immigrants founded the payment service provider in 2005 together with two friends, they knew each other from their studies at the Stockholm Business School. At first, Klarna acted as a link between online retailers and customers. The then still small company handled the payment process with the customer and guaranteed the dealer the receipt of the sum.

14 years and many acquisitions later, Klarna is no longer just an intermediary between online retailers and customers: for two years, the Stockholm-based company has a banking license, lends and issues credit cards.

Job market

  1. Pluradent AG & Co. KG, Kassel
  2. ADWEKO Consulting GmbH, various locations

The small startup of the three founders has turned into a finance group with 2,500 employees, 60 million customers and 130,000 online retailers in 14 countries. Klarna handles around one million payment transactions per day. Germany has become Sweden's most important market, accounting for around 40% of the total Turnover of 510 million euros are generated here in Germany.