Klarna is having quite a summer.
On Friday the company reported sales and profit results for the first half of 2017 that represented gains of 21% and 138%, respectively. The strong financials come amid a series of headlines that show the Swedish payments company making strides on a number of fronts. This includes rumors that Klarna is partnering with Stripe to better access the U.S. market. Such a partnership would make Klarna the only non-credit card option available on the platform, and enable customers to take advantage of Klarna’s signature “pay after delivery” service. A deal between Klarna and Stripe also would provide what an anonymous source quoted in Nordic Business Insider referred to as “potentially an important piece of the puzzle” of Klarna’s plan for expansion in the U.S.
News of Klarna’s impressive first half finances – more than $254 million in revenue for Q1 and Q2 of 2017 (2.05 billion Swedish crowns), and operating profits of $28 million (228 million Swedish crowns) – caps off an impressive summer for the Swedish fintech. At the beginning of this month, Klarna unveiled its new P2P payment service, Wavy. The free service, available in both iOS and Android, enables Euro transfers between friends and family in more than 30 European markets. In July, Klarna announced receiving an investment valued at between $225 million and $250 million from a group advised by global investment firm, Permira. This followed a major strategic investments from Visa and Brightfolk announced in June. And, just in case you missed it, Klarna is also now a bank, having successfully applied for and won a full banking license from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority earlier this summer.
“Klarna has played a role in disrupting payments services for the better and now as a consumer-oriented, product-driven, and technology-intensive bank, we have the tools to drive change in retail banking,” Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski said when the announcement was made in June. “We will do this by providing solutions that ensure a smooth customer experience, help people streamline their financial lives and continue to support businesses by solving the complexity of handling payments,” he added.
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and founded in 2005, Klarna most recently demoed at FinovateSpring 2012. The company has raised more than $521 million in funding, and has an estimated valuation of $2.55 billion. A member of CBInsights’ Fintech 250, Klarna acquired German rival, BillPay, from Wonga in February, and in January the company partnered with ASOS Partners to bring its “pay after delivery” services to consumers in the Nordic region. Klarna has more than 60 million customers and 70,000 merchants using its technology. Financial Times recently profiled Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth in a look at how young “unicorn” founders are turning toward social entrepreneurship.