STOCKHOLM, May 27 (Reuters) - Swedish payments firm Klarna
is close to raising a new round of funding from a group of
investors including SoftBank that could lift the
company's valuation close to $50 billion, three sources told
The latest fundraising is expected to be Klarna's final
private round before the fintech giant, Europe's most valuable
startup, sets the stage for a blockbuster stock market listing,
two of the sources said.
With such a valuation, Klarna would become Sweden's biggest
financial company and be worth more than some major European
banks including Deutsche Bank.
Klarna, which allows shoppers to buy online through its
merchant partners and settle their dues in instalments via "buy
now, pay later" (BNPL), in March raised $1 billion, tripling its
valuation to $31 billion in less than six months.
Chief Executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski told Reuters earlier
that a stock market flotation was more likely to happen early
next year, adding that the company would seriously consider
options including a direct listing, where no new shares are
A direct listing would make sense for Klarna as it is
unlikely to need more capital in the near term given its fund
raising this year, one of the sources said.
Capital markets bankers and lawyers expect the company to
float in New York either through an initial public offering
(IPO) or a merger with a special purpose acquisition company
(SPAC) - a listed vehicle created to bring private companies to
Klarna's investor slate includes rapper Snoop Dogg,
BlackRock, NorthZone and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.
Business Insider reported on the latest funding round
earlier on Thursday. The size of the cash injection is not yet
finalised but is expected to be around $500 million, according
to the report https://www.businessinsider.com/klarna-buy-now-pay-later-softbank-40-billion-2021-5.
Softbank declined to comment.
(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology &
Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; Editing by Johan
Ahlander, Kirsten Donovan)