The funding round is led by Silver Lake, a technology investment company with a managed Total assets of over $ 60 billion. Other investors in this round are the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and HMI Capital. In addition, the investment companies Merian Chrysalis, TCV, Northzone and Bonnier have acquired shares from existing shareholders. They join the circle of existing investors such as Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Permira, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bestseller Group and Ant Group to support Klarna’s growth path.
Klarna wants to expand its portfolio and open up new markets
The new financing round will help Klarna to further expand its product range, open up new markets, continue to use the current momentum in existing markets and accelerate growth in the USA, which now has more than nine million users. Klarna offers a simpler and more intelligent alternative to credit cards as well as a range of different services for a smooth shopping experience, which is currently used by over 90 million consumers worldwide.
The rapid acceptance and loyalty are also a sign that more and more users are actively turning away from revolving credit lines and inferior customer experiences in retail and turning to services that better meet their needs.
Direct-to-consumer app supports omnichannel
With the direct-to-consumer app from Klarna, users can shop online in any store or brand (currently applies in the USA, Australia and Sweden). The app is enjoying strong approval in the market, as convenience and control over their finances are becoming increasingly important for consumers. The app currently has more than twelve million monthly active users worldwide and 55,000 downloads every day – and thus outperformed the closest competitor by three times last year.
With the app, consumers can now also note their favorite items on a wish list and receive current discount offers and direct notifications about price reductions. At the same time, they can keep an eye on their expenses and track their deliveries.
Klarna wins 35,000 new retailers in the first half of the year
With growing online retail and changing consumer preferences, Klarna saw strong growth in the first half of 2020 with more than 35,000 new retailers joining a network of more than 200,000 retailers worldwide. These include brands like Sephora, Groupon, SHEIN, Charlotte Tilbury, Vans, The North Face, Ted Baker, Timberland, and Ralph Lauren.
A recent study by McKinsey & Company in the US found that more than 75 percent of consumers tried new brands, channels, or shopping methods during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, 82 percent of those surveyed intend to have a new one digital way of shoppings have tried to continue using them even after the end of the crisis. These developments are reflected in Klarna’s strong business results: the company recorded volume and sales growth of 44 and 36 percent respectively in the first half of 2020, processed more than 22 billion US dollars via the platform and generated total sales of 466 million U.S. dollar.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, co-founder and Klarna CEO, explains, “We are at a real turning point in both retail and finance. Online trading is becoming more and more important and there is a noticeable change in consumer behavior. You are actively looking for services that offer convenience, flexibility and control when paying and an overall better shopping experience. Our unique range, the changing demands of users and our global dealer network provide an excellent basis for further growth. The entire Klarna team is honored to have such well-known investors on board who support our mission to become the world’s most popular way of shopping. “(Sg)
Assessments of the new financing round
“Klarna is one of the most pioneering and most promising FinTech companies in the world. Klarna is redefining e-commerce for millions of consumers and retailers around the world, while e-commerce continues to grow and rapidly shift to mobile devices. Klarna’s retailers benefit from increasing usage figures and a greatly improved conversion rate. The users love Klarna for the app-based shopping experience and for the flexible and transparent payment options. We look forward to investing in the company at this dynamic time and working with Sebastian and his talented team to further accelerate Klarna’s growth and global success. “