Swedish online payment company Klarna, with its shareholders including Snoop Dogg, announced on Tuesday that it reached a value of $ 5.5 billion following a $ 460 million financing round, claiming its status as Europe's largest private fintech company.
The Stockholm-based startup, head of CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski, plans to expand into the US market and join several other European financial firms with its "buy now and pay later" model for consumers. The Dragoneer Investment Group in San Francisco led the latest round of funding, strengthening its entry into the US market.
Klarna announced its collaboration with Snoop Dogg in January with a series of commercials featuring the rapper who is both a minor shareholder and the face of the "Get Smoooth" campaign.
The partnership, born of transcontinental investment, catapulted the Swedish fintech startup to global notoriety as the commercials went viral and images of Snoop-Dogg with purebred elite dogs, set on a multitude of millennials became social media feed.
In a press release, Snoop-Dogg addressed his involvement as part of his European investment strategy.
"I've been looking for an opportunity to expand my technology investment portfolio to Europe and see how Klarna works and how they challenge the status quo, I think it's a battle made in heaven. I'm very excited about this partnership, "he said.
According to a recent press release about the funding round, Klarna is currently serving over 60 million consumers, 1[ads1]30,000 merchants, and is approaching $ 1 billion in annual revenue. The average 6 million new US consumers each year, and they believe the recent funding round will strengthen their strength in the foreign markets.
"The Unique of Klarna's Consumer Offering, Providing a Healthier, Easier and Smarter Credit Card Alternative, With More Services to Smooth into the shopping experience, online and offline, is clearly a resonance with the American consumer, "Klarna said in a statement.
Klarna was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2005, and offers online consumers a seamless cash experience with the ability to pay now , pay later or over time without interest. By buying inventory directly from the dealer, Klarna works with consumers to pay down the debt.
While he has not yet assigned a date, Siemiatkowski discussed the possibility of launching an initial public offering after H&M bought a stake in the company and valued it at $ 2 billion.
"We have not made a formal listing decision, but Klarna is approaching a situation where I think we are more ready to list the company," Siemiatkowski told Reuters in an interview.
The CEO of "tech unicorn" – a startup with a valuation of more than $ 1 billion – suggested that he is also interested in untapped markets such as China.
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"People refer to the US market as extremely competitive, but in my world it cannot compare with the Chinese. There is much more to do in markets that are not as competitive," she said Siemiatkowski.