Banking

Klarna raises cash from SoftBank at $45.6 billion valuation

Klarna Bank AB is raising fresh funds led by SoftBank Group that value the Swedish fintech startup at $45.6 billion, just months after two separate investment rounds sent the company’s valuation soaring.

The Stockholm-based company, which is already Europe’s most valuable startup, raised $639 million in new equity funding, it said in a statement on Thursday.

“I’m very proud of the investors who are supporting Klarna’s ambition to challenge these outdated models” of revolving credit, said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the company’s founder and chief executive.

Klarna in March raised $1 billion at a valuation of $31 billion, tripling its price from a previous round in September. Siemiatkowski at the time said there was high demand from investors and they could have raised as much as $3 billion.

SoftBank is already an investor in Klarna, according to a representative for the fintech company. Other investors in the latest funding round include Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group as well as Sequoia Capital, SilverLake, Dragoneer and Permira.

Klarna said in March the hot investor demand was driven by the company’s success in the U.S., which is on track to overtake Germany as its biggest market by the end of 2021. The company earlier said it had signed up 20 of the top 100 brands in the U.S. and attracted a million new customers a month there in the last quarter of 2020.

The fintech firm, which rivals PayPal Holdings and Square as well as traditional credit cards, lets customers “buy now and pay later” in four interest-free installments when they shop online or in store with brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Adidas and Lululemon.

Klarna continues to face speculation around a possible public listing in the near future. In May, Klarna said it was considering a listing in London in the next year or two but that it was still deciding where to list.

“We are excited to continue supporting the team in bringing the next generation of financial services to new markets worldwide,” said Yanni Pipilis, a managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers.


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