Klarna Unveils Free P2P Payment Service, Wavy

Is there a fintech company having a more impressive summer than Klarna? The e-commerce innovator has forged strategic partnerships with and secured investments from Brightfolk, Visa, and Permira in the past two months. In June, the company added a full banking license to its assets, making Klarna “one of Europe’s largest banks” in the words of CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski.

By comparison, today’s unveiling of Wavy, a new, free P2P payments service is a relatively more modest move. Available in iOS and Android as well as online, the free app enables users in more than 30 European markets to transfer Euros between friends and family. Users connect their bank or credit card accounts to Wavy, and make transfers by generating a payment link which can be delivered over social media or to another Wavy account. That said, recipients can receive and redeem payments via their bank accounts without having to sign up for the Wavy service.  Users can pay requests for payment with EU-issued credit cards or SOFORT Überweisung.

Wavy is the product of Klarna’s collaboration with the developers of P2P payment app Cookies, who joined Klarna late last year in the wake of Cookies’ filing for bankruptcy. At the time, Klarna praised the app for its combination of social features and user-friendly interface, and credited Cookies for being both one of the first PFM apps to focus on younger users as well as the first to bring “near-realtime” money transfers to Germany. Lamine Cheloufi, Cookies co-founder and current Product Director at Klarna, called Wavy “the most accessible peer-to-peer payment service in Europe.”

To that end, and taking stock of the crowded market for P2P payment options, TechCrunch’s Romain Dillet suggested that Wavy might get an initial boost from Klarna’s popularity in its native Sweden. But listening to Siemiatkowski, it almost seems as if Europe is just a first stop. “There are no borders in an online context, why should there be in payments?” Siemiatkowski said. “Klarna was founded with the goal to make online payments safe, simple, and smooth. Wavy is another step on that journey.”

Providing single-click purchase experiences that enable direct payments, pay after delivery, installment plans and more, Klarna demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. The company was founded in 2005 in Sweden, and is currently headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Klarna’s solutions are used by more than 60 million consumers and more than 70,000 merchants in 18 markets globally.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Alpharank Among Startups Graduating from VC Fintech Accelerator Empowered by FIS.
  • Juvo Raises $40 Million in Round Led by NEA, Wing Venture Capital.
  • Klarna Unveils Free P2P Payments Service, Wavy.

Around the web

  • Fiserv acquires mortgage tech solutions provider, PCLender.
  • Consorsbank picks technology from Germany’s figo to power its multibanking service.
  • PayU Colombia to deploy SaaS-based core banking technology from Mambu.
  • Trulioo’s GlobalGateway platform coverage extended to six Latin American countries.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Klarna Announces Strategic Investment from Permira

Less than a month after announcing strategic fundings from Visa and Brightfolk A/S, Klarna is back in the fintech headlines with news of a new strategic investment from a partnership advised by global investment firm, Permira. The partnership will acquire shares from a trio of existing shareholders – DST Global, General Atlantic, and Niklas Adalberth – in a transaction that will leave Adalberth as the only equity shareholder of the three. TechCrunch reports that the deal is worth between $225 million and $250 million, and estimates a valuation of $2.5 billion. They note further that Klarna has raised “somewhere in the region of $500 million in the last 7 weeks.”

Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski (pictured) put the new investment in the context of its recent brand new banking license, referring to the company’s growth from an innovator in enhancing the shopping experience to “a consumer-oriented and technology intensive bank.” Permira principal Andrew Young echoed Siemiatkowski’s sentiments, calling the company a “unique scale fintech innovator” for its work in e-commerce. “We see many vectors that will drive future success and with Sebastian, we look forward to supporting the company’s future organic, geographic, and acquisition growth strategies,” Young said.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Klarna demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. The company provides payment solutions for 60 million consumers and 70,000 merchants transacting across borders. Participating in 18 markets around the world, Klarna supports direct payments, pay after delivery, and installment plans via a single-click “purchase experience” that gives shoppers a wider range of payment options. Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden, Klarna noted 50% growth in recorded transaction volumes in 2016 – including partnerships with 17,000 new merchants.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Aire Pulls in $5 Million, Lands Partnerships with Zopa and Toyota Financial Services.
  • New Investment Boosts Betterment Valuation to $800 Million.
  • Klarna Announces Strategic Investment from Permira.

Around the web

  • PayPal extends partnership with JP Morgan Chase, providing greater payment options for consumers.
  • Taulia joins European E-invoicing Service Providers Association.
  • Persistent Systems agrees to acquires Swiss firm Parx Werk in deal valued at $16 million.
  • ID Analytics partners with Acxiom to strengthen risk assessment and combat fraud.
  • Dwolla adds Multi-User Feature to the Access API Dashboard.
  • Neener Analytics joins Plug&Play fintech accelerator.
  • Tavant selected by Fairway Independent Mortgage To Transform Its Digital Lending Experience.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Volkswagen Finance Arm Invests in AutoGravity
  • CASHOFF Earns Spot in Inaugural Innotribe Startup Challenge Russia

Around the web

  • Xero launches new e-invoicing solution for SMEs, Xero Connect.
  • Boku extends direct carrier billing relationship with Microsoft.
  • American Banker looks at Klarna and the rise of “high-tech, low-effort” online lending.
  • Xero rolls out automated Stripe reconciliation to match transactions to the Stripe statement line.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

This week, CB Insights unveiled its Fintech 250 list. The research outfit selected 250 emerging, private companies in 17 sub-sectors of fintech that are changing the face of financial services. The roster includes 44 Finovate and FinDEVr alums that were selected using CB Insights’ data-driven process that analyzes company momentum, market participation, funds raised, and investor quality.

The list is in alphabetical order.









Credit Karma





Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)










Personal Capital





Ripple Labs
















Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • PayPal Makes Strategic Investment in Online Lender, LendUp.
  • Summit View: Trends and Challenges for Digital Lenders.

Around the web

  • OakNorth Bank is first European FI to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Avoka opens new office in Germany to support German-speaking banks in the DACH region.
  • IDology unveils ExpectID Call Verification to help fight call center fraud.
  • Klarna teams up with Knomo to give new purchase options to Knomo shoppers.
  • Bill.com announces deeper integration with Intuit’s QuickBooks.
  • DefenseStorm readies for July webinar on cybersecurity for financial services.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Klarna Earns Strategic Investment from Visa

“My, what a fine, new banking license you have there, Klarna!”

We don’t know if Klarna’s decision to obtain a banking license played a role in Visa’s decision to invest an undisclosed amount in the Swedish payments innovator. But the announcement today that Visa has bought a small stake in Klarna is a big vote of confidence in the company’s apparent determination to diversify its business into other areas, such as card services.

For Visa, the Klarna investment is part of its strategy to open up its ecosystem and support companies that are innovating to make the payment experience more rewarding for consumers around the world. Visa EVP for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Jim McCarthy praised Klarna’s proven “expertise in consumer credit and online purchasing” and said the two companies “share a vision for how today’s online and mobile commerce experiences can be as simple as they are in the real world.” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski called the partnership a “natural fit” and added that it would enable Klarna to bolster its “global presence and product portfolio.”

The funding for Klarna is the third investment in the company this year. Earlier this month, Klarna announced that Brightfolk, a firm held by Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of European fashion giant, BESTSELLER, had acquired a strategic stake in the company. The 10% equity investment was valued at $225 million given Klarna’s valuation of $2.25 billion. And in March, the company raised $5 million (KR46 million) from Nordic early-stage, venture capital firm Creandum. Klarna has raised more than $375 million in total funding.

Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden and now headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Klarna demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. The company serves more than 60 million customers and 70,000 retailers in Europe and North America. TechCrunch’s coverage of today’s Visa investment notes that as of 2016 Klarna was processing 400,000 transactions daily, and generated revenues of $318 million in 2015. TechCrunch also reports that Klarna’s transaction growth is up 50% year-over-year in 2016, and that 17,000 new merchants were added in the last quarter.

Visa demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2010. In 2014, the company’s Visa Developers Program presented The Future of Commerce, a look at how to connect with Visa’s networking using open APIs and SDKs, and led workshops on API-less web, Android SDK, and Apple Pay integration.

Europe’s Got a Brand New Bank as Klarna Earns License

As former Vice President Joe Biden might put it, today’s news that Klarna has been granted a full banking license is truly a BFD.

“Big Fintech Deal,” that is.

“We are now one of Europe’s largest banks with 60 million customers, 70,000 merchants, and working seamlessly across borders,” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said (pictured). He called the banking license an “exciting milestone” for the Stockholm, Sweden-based company, in specific, and for the European banking sector, in general. The full banking license was granted by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Finansinspektionen, and will enable Klarna to provide a range of new services – from payment cards to digital wallets – to consumers throughout the continent. Indeed, TechCruch reported today that as part of the licensing, Klarna will legally change its name to “Klarna Bank” – though it will continue to operate in the market as “Klarna.”

Highlighting the company’s history as a e-commerce innovator and its future as a “consumer-oriented, product driven, and technology intensive bank,” Siemiatkowski trained his sights on retail banking itself. “We will … (provide) solutions that ensure a smooth customer experience, help people streamline their financial lives and continue to support businesses by solving the complexity in handling payments,” he said, adding, “the opportunities are tremendous, it is a thrilling prospect.”

Coverage of the news in The Financial Times notes that Siemiatkowski had planned on making this kind of move for some time. Blaming regulations for helping limit banks’ exposure to the competition that is commonplace in the technology world, Siemiatkowski criticized the way too many banks provide customer service that is both poor and overpriced. Ironically, he suggested that new, disruptor-friendly, regulations might be just the fix that’s needed, saying new rules might “set the right prerequisites for the destruction of that industry.”

Founded in 2005, Klarna demonstrated its after-delivery payment solution at FinovateSpring 2012. Earlier this month the company announced a major new strategic investor, Brightfolk, which acquired shares valued at more than $225 million from existing Klarna shareholders. Brightfolk is held by Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of European fashion company, BESTSELLER, which is a long-time partner of Klarna. In February, the Klarna integrated with Radial’s Payment platform, expanding e-commerce payment options for the company – the same month Klarna announced that it was acquiring German online payment provider, BillPay, from Wonga. Klarna began the year with news that it was teaming up with ASOS Partners, bringing its “pay after delivery” option to consumers in the Nordic region.

With more than $376 million in funding. Klarna is believed to have a valuation of $2.25 billion. The company is among a number of fintech companies in Europe and the U.S. that are pursuing banking licenses to diversify their businesses of late. Online lender SoFi applied for federal deposit insurance earlier this month, one significant step toward launching an digital-only SoFi Bank. And London’s TransferWise unveiled a new “Borderless” foreign exchange account in May that observers believe is part of the company’s goal to more directly challenge banks.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Europe’s Got a Brand New Bank as Klarna Earns License.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee Unveils New Financial Wellness Solution.

Around the web

  • Avoka wins ATB Financial Customer Onboarding Global Innovation Challenge.
  • ACI Worldwide offers UP Immediate Payments solutions via hosted cloud.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.