Klarna, the Swedish fintech company offering “buy now pay later” (BNPL) payment, banking, and shopping services, which has more than 90 million users globally, is aiming for 1 million customers in Italy. This was announced yesterday at a press conference by its country manager Italy Francesco Passone.
Founded in 2005, Klarna is a bank since 2017, while also remaining a hi-tech company. It is one of the most valuable private fintech companies globally, with a post-money valuation of $45.6 billion. It has cashed in two rounds this year. One was in June, when Klarna raised $639 million and was led by Softbank’s Vision Fund 2, with participation from investors, already in the capital, Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management, and WestCap Group.
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The round came only three months after the one of last March of one billion dollars for a valuation of 31 billion, which had already made it the largest fintech in Europe
That round in turn followed one from last September 2020 in which Klarna had collected $650 million from investors, with a valuation of “only” $10.6 billion. Klarna’s investors include Sequoia Capital (an investor since 2010), Dragoneer, Bestseller Group, Permira, Visa, Atomico, Ant Group, Silver Lake, HMI Capital, TCV, US department store group Macy’s, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Northzone, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, BlackRock and HMI. Other rounds will probably follow, as “a company growing at our pace will need capital, but we don’t have targets in terms of date or amount,” said the Italy country manager.
Klarna landed in Italy in October 2020, launching with H&M and Michael Kors the “Paga in 3 installments” solution, which allows consumers to pay for their purchases in three interest-free installments. In a year of activity, Klarna has partnered with over 1,200 international and Italian brands, including Diesel, Furla, Geox, Pittarosso, and the brands of the Teddy Group (Terranova, Calliope, Rinascimento). The Swedish fintech in Italy has 750 thousand consumers and 1,200 merchants. In addition, Klarna has inaugurated a tech hub in Milan, bringing the staff from 10 to 150 people, with the goal of reaching 200 in the coming months. “Milan is a global product development center, so we aim to enter the social fabric of the city, both on the technical and business side,” Passone pointed out. He added: “We’re looking at Italy on three fronts: product launches for Italian consumers; partnerships with Italian merchants signed by Klarna’s Milan team; and future partnerships and acquisitions, as part of a broader investment plan in Milan.”
Recall that the Swedish fintech acquired in February 2020 the Italian fintech scaleup Moneymour, which specializes in online expense installment services conducted by individuals, acting as a technical service provider for banks and thus enabling instant loans for online purchases (see other BeBeez article). As for Klarna’s next moves in Italy, Passone said, “We are planning targets for 2022. We expect 3-digit growth in customers and business partners. Sooner or later we will also target large retailers, as we already work with supermarket chains in Sweden. But to do this well, we will first have to enrich the services we offer to consumers.”
Globally, Klarna has more than 4 thousand employees and more than 250,000 retailers, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, Dyson, and AliExpress. The Swedish fintech is used by 90 million users worldwide, while over 150,000 have downloaded the fintech’s all-in-one shopping app and more than 41,000 actively use it every month. Active in 17 countries, Klarna is expected to open its Lisbon office in the coming days.
Finally, the Swedish fintech company also presented The State of Smoooth: Christmas 2021 in Italy study, based on research conducted on more than 1,000 Italians and Klarna’s proprietary data from insights into its 90 million users globally. According to the study, 3 in 10 Italians plan to start buying Christmas gifts before December to take advantage of discounts during Black Friday. 24% also plan to spend more than in 2020, with the youngest generations (Generation Y and Z) planning the highest budgets, with an average of $548 (€471). Nearly half of Italians (47%) will make most of their purchases online, while 37% will take advantage of shipping and fast delivery options. In general, however, it is those who buy online who plan to spend more: on average 16% more than those who prefer physical stores. Not only that. Often, those who spend more do so because they have flexible and personalized payment options, which allow for better money management in the short term, thus optimizing spending power.
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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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