By Lina Saigol
Europe's most valuable fintech startup now has more than 18 million customers in the U.S.
Swedish-based payments service Klarna has raised more than $639 million in a new private fundraising round, led by Japan's SoftBank , boosting its valuation to almost $46 billion.
The new valuation represents an increase of almost 50% from Klarna's post-money valuation of $31 billion in March, when it raised $1 billion, and cements its position as Europe's most valuable fintech startup.
Klarna allows shoppers to buy online through merchant partners including Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Nike (NKE) and Peloton (PTON) and split payments into interest-free installments.
The use of "buy now, pay later" products -- known in the industry as BNPL -- has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent review by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's former interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard, found that the value of transactions using BNPL had nearly quadrupled () between January and December 2020. Overall BNPL is around 1% of the total credit market, the review determined.
Read:The buy now, pay later wave: Klarna, Affirm and rivals hope to take U.S. by storm ()
Klarna plans to use the new cash injection to help support its international expansion. It has been investing heavily in the U.S., where it now has 18 million customers.
"Klarna has already successfully expanded into the U.S., and we are excited to continue supporting the team in bringing the next generation of financial services to new markets worldwide," Yanni Pipilis, managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement on Thursday.
Along with SoftBank's Vision Fund 2, the latest fundraising round included participation from existing investors Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group. Klarna's other investors include Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake, BlackRock (BLK) and the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 10, 2021 11:28 ET (15:28 GMT)
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