Back in March 2021, Sweden-based fintech startup Klarna claimed the title of Europe’s top tech unicorn after raising a whopping $1B (approx €830M) in an equity funding round with an aim to accelerate international expansion and further capture global retail growth.
On Wednesday, the e-commerce payment solutions provider opens its new office in London and larger premises in Manchester as it continues to expand across the country.
Where is the new office situated?
In London, Klarna has taken an 11,000 sq. ft. space at Aviation House in Holborn, wherein its top-floor space in the WeWork-run building will serve as the fintech’s new UK headquarters.
In Manchester, Klarna has expanded its existing office space located at the Old Granada Studios – a payments and retail tech hub. The company says that the city is also an important location due to the number of high-growth retailers, including Beauty Bay, Foot Asylum, In The Style, Missguided, JD Sports, and Boohoo Group.
Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK, says, “These investments in new office space not only demonstrate our considerable growth, but also underline our ambitions to be an increasingly important part of the UK economy – shaping the future of how we shop, bank and pay.”
Marsh also adds, “The response we saw to the pandemic from our teams was so impressive, and the considerable growth we achieved over the last year is testament to their dedication to our merchants and customers in tough circumstances. I know many are eager to get back into the office to work together in person again. I’m certain the spaces we are creating for our teams, and the flexible arrangements we have put in place will help them be even more creative and productive.”
Klarna’s new hybrid work strategy
Klarna’s announcement follows a year of growth after it reached a $31B (approx €25.73B) valuation following its recent funding round. The company now serves over 14 million consumers and over 13,000 retailers in the UK.
With over 200 staff across the country, the new offices will allow Klarna to grow, with plans to double its workforce in the UK over the next year.
Due to the pandemic, Klarna followed a year of ‘work from home’ and has now adopted a hybrid working policy for its employees. Now, its teams will work together in the office on two agreed days each week, with the flexibility to choose to work from home or the office on other days.
Mathieu Proust, GM, UK, Ireland & Emerging Markets at WeWork, says, “The past year has highlighted the need for a more flexible way of working – one that supports collaboration, productivity and creativity – and this is a great example of a business understanding how the right workplace strategy is key in supporting growth. We are thrilled to see companies like Klarna provide flexible options for their teams to collaborate and connect at WeWork.”
Making online payments simple and safe
Stockholm-based Klarna was founded in 2005 by Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth, and Victor Jacobsson. It is an e-commerce payment solutions platform for merchants and shoppers and is also a regulated bank known for its “buy now, pay later” model – offers shoppers interest-free financing on retail purchases over a period of instalments.
In addition, consumers can browse and shop at any brand online with Klarna payment options, track spending and available balances, add favourite items to wishlists, access tailored discounts, receive price-drop notifications, track deliveries intelligently and join Klarna’s new loyalty program, Vibe. Besides, the company also offers direct payments, pay after delivery options, and instalment plans.
Klarna has over 200,000 retail partners, including giants such as H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, and AliExpress. The company is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Silver Lake, Bestseller Group, Dragoneer, Permira, Visa, Ant Group and Atomico.
The company has also launched new products, including savings accounts in Sweden, current accounts in Germany, and Klarna’s Vibe loyalty program in the US and Australia, which enhanced consumer acquisition and retention and drove adoption of the Klarna app to a record 18 million monthly global users.
In March 2021, Klarna also introduced “Account Insights” – a new solution that turns simple bank statements into unique insights through categorisation and data enrichment. These insights can provide personalised budget plans, insurance checks, loan applications, credit & risk assessments, personal finance management applications, and more, all through simple API integration.