Visa invests in Klarna

Visa invests in Klarna

Visa is set to buy a stake in Klarna as part of a planned strategic partnership with the Swedish payments firm focussed on pushing online and mobile commerce in Europe.

Visa has not provided any details on how big a stake it has acquired or how much it has paid but Klarna, founded in 2005, has raised more than $300 million and is valued at over $2 billion.

The Swedish firm now serves 60 million consumers and 70,000 retailers across Europe. With Forrester expecting the continent to see double-digit growth in online sales over the next few years, Visa is betting the new partnership will prove fruitful.

Klarna has also just received a banking licence which could see it expand into new areas, including credit card services.

Jim McCarthy, EVP, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa, says: "Klarna has demonstrated an expertise in consumer credit and online purchasing and together, we share a vision for how today’s online and mobile commerce experiences can be as simple as they are in the real world."

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO, Klarna, adds: "Partnering with Visa will give us the opportunity to strengthen our global presence and product portfolio by leveraging our combined assets. We are excited about the possibilities of what we can do together."

The deal is in line with Visa's strategy of pumping money into new kids on the digital payments block; the card giant has previously invested in Stripe, Square and LoopPay.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 27 June, 2017, 14:19Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Seems to me that the main card schemes are out there gobbling up any new businesses that are associated with payments. If retailers are looking for independent and cheaper alternatives to the card schemes they'll have to look long and hard to find one. Is this what increasing competion is really about?

Tom Hay
Tom Hay - Payment Systems Europe - London 28 June, 2017, 03:271 like 1 like

Never mind a banking license and credit cards, Klarna owns Sofort, the 800lb gorilla of the screen-scraping payment initiators. I reckon Visa is buying insurance against PSD2 and instant payments displacing card payments, as predicted in a recent Ovum report. In this sense it's similar to Mastercard's acquisition of VocaLink, though targeting a different link in the value chain.