Monday 3 May 2021 11:52 am

Klarna to buck pandemic trend and take on more UK office space

Klarna plans to take on more office space as part of a push to double its British workforce and launch more banking products.

The buy now pay later firm will take new headquarters in an 11,000 sq ft WeWork office in Holborn and expand its existing space in Manchester.

The firm is also looking at office locations in Birmingham.

Read more: Klarna’s valuation soars to $31bn after $1bn funding round

Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, told the Times productivity at the payments firm remained high during the pandemic, but the biggest challenge had been collaboration.

“There is only so long you can sit in groups for hours on Google Meets. It’s much better to have ideas scrawled up on whiteboards and Post-it notes all over the place. Our teams have already said they like flexibility,” he said.

Bosses at Klarna have told staff they expect them to come into the office for a minimum of two days per week.

Read more: Advertising watchdog bans Klarna Instagram ads

Klarna’s decision to expand its office space is at odds with many firms that have decided to cut costs and reduce office space after deciding staff could work from home more often.

Valued at $31bn, Klarna is the highest-valued European private fintech after a surge in online shopping during the pandemic. 

Klarna’s buy now pay later model allows customers to spread out the cost of purchases over a period of interest-free installments. The firm makes money by taking a fee from merchants each time a customer makes a purchase. 

But the sector has come under scrutiny recently as the City watchdog laid out plans to regulate the sector amid concerns vulnerable customs are struggling with repayments.