Klarna payments platform hits $5.5 billion valuation

August 7, 2019 | FinTech

The darling of Scandanavia just became the largest private fintech startup in Europe.

It didn’t take long for the Klarna payments platform to hit a valuation of $5.5 billion.

Ahead of a possible IPO, the Swedish payments firm just raised $460 million in equity from a number of investors.

Founded in 2005, Klarna says it is getting close to hitting $1 billion a year in revenue. Last year, the firm reported revenue of $627 million and profits of roughly $19 billion.

Looking forward, Klarna’s leadership expects more aggressive growth thanks to its position in the U.S. markets.

Klarna payments on the rise

The payment firm allows customers to purchase items in installments without additional interest.

Customers never interact with merchants as Klarna buys the product directly and then sends invoices to its clients. The firm entered the U.S. in 2015. Klarna has added six million customers in the country each year.

In addition, the firm has processed roughly $29 billion in global transactions since its inception.

Following its latest equity round, Klarna’s new investors include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, venture capital giant Dragoneer, and funds operated by BlackRock. At $5.5 billion, the company now ranges as the eighth move valuable private fintech firm in the world.

The company’s valuation has aggressively increased in 2019.

According to the Financial Times, the firm’s valuation started the year at $2.5 billion. By April, the valuation hit $3.5 billion, according to the same report.

This week, Klarna announced a partnership with global online fashion retailer, ASOS, which sells more than 850 brands. The partnership allows users to obtain products from ASOS for four, bi-weekly payments without any interest.

According to a press release announcing the partnership, 22% of customers say they fail to afford the latest fashion trends and prefer pay later or installment payments. It’s clear that the payment trend is popular with younger consumers.

The same press release showed survey data that indicates a large percentage of shoppers want different payment options. According to the report, 37% of Gen Z and 30% of Millennial shoppers want “pay later” or installment payment options for their buying habits.

The Klarna payments platform also announced a partnership with Snoop Dogg earlier this year.

Additional shareholders include Visa, fashion firm Bestseller, Hennes & Mauritz, Sequoia Capital and Permira.

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