Klarna becomes Europe's highest-valued fintech with $639m fresh funding

The Swedish buy now, pay later company is said to include more than 250,000 retail partners globally

Klarna, co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Klarna has been named as Europe's most valuable fintech unicorn after raising US$639m in new funding.

The recent round of investment, led by Japanese multinational firm SoftBank, sees the buy now, pay later (BNPL) company now valued at $45.6bn, the second highest-valued private fintech worldwide after payment processor Stripe.

Klarna, which counts beauty partners from Charlotte Tilbury to Beauty Bay and Magnitone, allows consumers to finance their purchases via interest-free monthly payment instalments.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Klarna Founder and CEO, said: "Consumers continue to reject interest-and fee-laden revolving credit and are moving toward debit while simultaneously seeking retail experiences that better meet their needs.

"Klarna's more transparent and convenient alternatives align with evolving global consumer preferences and drive worldwide growth.

"I'm very proud of the investors who are supporting Klarna's ambition to challenge these outdated models to empower consumers with fair, transparent, and convenient products to help them bank, shop and pay each day."

The latest investment in Klarna was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, as well as backing from Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group.

Yanni Pipilis, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, added: "Klarna's growth is founded on a deep understanding of how the purchasing behaviors of consumers are changing, an evolution which we believe is accelerating.

"Klarna has already successfully expanded into the US and we are excited to continue supporting the team in bringing the next generation of financial services to new markets worldwide."

Klarna recently expanded its app into the UK that allows consumers to pay for products in instalments on any online retailer – even if the store has not officially partnered with the Swedish fintech.

According to the company, the shopping app has been used by 18 million customers worldwide as well as at more than 250,000 retailers globally.

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