Klarna doubles quarterly transaction value

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Klarna doubled its gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the overall value of all the transactions on its platform - to $18.9 billion between January and March.

The news comes as the Swedish FinTech is close to securing a new round of funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank that will give it a valuation of $40 billion, according to sources close to the matter.

This would make Klarna easily one of Europe’s most valuable FinTechs, surpassing the valuations of Checkout, Revolut, Wise, and Monzo.

The company’s results are mainly due to strong performance in the US market, where it doubled its user base year-on-year to 17 million and increased its app downloads by 125 per cent.

Klarna currently claims 90 million global active users and 2 million transactions per day.

The FinTech has over 4,000 employees across the world, 1,500 of those focused on engineering, and recently opened a new tech hub in Madrid.

Klarna is set to go live in New Zealand in May and is also set to expand into other markets it said were to be announced shortly.

The news of the new funding comes after FinTech investment in EMEA dropped from $61.5 billion in 2019 to $14.4 billion in 2020 according to data from KPMG, which it attributed to Brexit and Covid uncertainty.

BNPL faces an uncertain regulatory future in the UK amid political criticism; Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy described BNPL as the “next Wonga” in January, a now defunct payday lender which faced significant public condemnation.

In February , the UK government agreed to permit the regulation of BNPL services following the publication of an FCA review on the unsecured credit market.

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