Swedish fintech Klarna is the highest-valued private fintech in Europe after a fresh funding round valued the group at $11bn (£8.54bn).
The “buy now pay later” group secured $650m (£504.6m) in an equity funding round led by investment firm Silver Lake alongside Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and Blackrock.
Concurrently, Merian Chrysalis, TCV, Northzone and Bonnier have acquired shares from existing shareholders.
The new fundraising means Klarna’s valuation has doubled from $5.5bn (£4.27bn) in August 2019 to $10.65bn (£8.27bn). It has enjoyed swift growth in the US, helped by a surge in online shopping during the pandemic.
The value of transactions carried out via its payment platform jumped 44 per cent in the first half of the year as customers embraced online shopping during the pandemic.
It has also added more than 35,000 new retailers during the first half of 2020 to its networ of more than 200,000 retail partners including Sephora, Groupon and Ralph Lauren.
Klarna’s largest market continues to be the US with almost 9m customers, as they shift away from credit cards. The app currently has 1.2m monthly active users.
It comes amid speculation that the fintech will float in the next few years. Chief executive Sebastian Simiatkowski told the Financial Times last month that an IPO should happen in the next “one or two years” but no specific timeframe had been agreed.
Egon Durban, Silver Lake’s co-chief executive said: “Klarna is one of the most disruptive and promising fintech companies in the world, redefining the ecommerce experience for millions of consumers and global retailers, just as ecommerce growth is accelerating worldwide and rapidly shifting to mobile.”
Klarna said it would use the funding to further invest in its “unique shopping offering” as well as expanding its global presence, particularly in the US.