Klarna is one of the most successful e-payment companies founded and grew in Europe, with operations in 15 countries that generated revenues of $178 million in 2013. The Swedish success story is now preparing to open to the US market with $100 million in its pocket to be spent over the next three years for the operation.
The company announced that the headquarters in the US will be based in Columbus, Ohio, which, Brian Billingsley, chief executive for Klarna North America. says “is the heart of U.S. e-commerce activity and is the perfect launchpad for our expansion”. The Columbus offices will open right after the Christmas, and another one in New York will follow very soon.
Klarna is basically an easy-to-use and risk-minimizing payment collection tool for the retailers and is widely used in many chain stores n Northern Europe. It also has plans that include risk undertaking on behalf of the retailer,and credit products such as installment payments, for the buyer. It makes money mainly by charging the retailers a commission on each transaction. What it does differently from many other online payment companies is that the user/buyer can also make the payment for a purchase without using a credit card, simply by letting Klarna know address and citizenship details and invoiced by it in the old style. The customers then can pay in whichever method they desire.
The Stockholm-headquartered company commands over 45,000 retailers and 25 million users today. In Sweden, it controls more than 30% of all online payments. Its valuation grew over $1.4 billion with the latest funding of $110 million raised earlier this year from international VCs that include Sequoia Ventures, General Atlantic and Atomico.
The company employs around a thousand people today and plans to add another 20 for its Columbus office.