LONDON Swedish ﬁntech ﬁrm Klarna said Thursday that it raised $639 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank, valuing the company at $45.6 billion.
Klarna is one of the largest providers of “buy-now-pay-later” services, which let people ﬁnance their shopping purchases interest-free over a period of monthly instalments. These services have become particularly popular since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The latest investment in Klarna, which was led by SoftBankÎs Vision Fund 2, cements its status as EuropeÎs top ﬁntech unicorn, and the second-biggest ﬁntech start-up by valuation after Stripe. Adit Ventures, Honeycomb Asset Management and WestCap Group also invested, Klarna 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,” Sebastian Siemiatkowski, KlarnaÎs founder and CEO, said in a statement Thursday.
“More transparent and convenient alternatives align with evolving global consumer preferences and drive worldwide growth,” he added.
Klarna, a regulated bank, touts itself as an alternative to credit cards, an industry the company