Swedish-founded fintech scale-up Klarna has acquired Close Brothers Retail Finance (CBRF) from the UK-based merchant banking group Close Brothers. CBRF is a retail financing provider that claims to be working with more than 600 active merchants in the UK, including Samsung Electronics, Mothercare, GAME, Jessops, Ebuyer, Emma Mattress, Cotswold Outdoor, and Victorian Plumbing.
CBRF's financial product offering allows customers to pay for their purchases over time in fixed monthly payments, which, the company states, leads to an “up to 30 percent sales boost.” As of July 31, 2018, the CBRF business had a loan book of £66 million.
“What CBRF have achieved to date in the UK is impressive but together we can invest in realising the full potential of the business,” said Michael Rouse, chief commercial officer of Klarna. “Outside of the core offering in retail finance, we immediately recognised a shared commitment in building deep partnerships with our merchants so their business thrives and an unrelenting focus on the customer experience.”
With the acquisition of CBRF, Klarna expects to build a “rich omnichannel product offering” on the UK market “that will exceed anything currently available for a wide range of retail verticals, helping merchants unlock growth and allow us to serve even more customers and better,” said Luke Griffiths, managing director of Klarna UK.
Recently our founding editor Robin Wauters interviewed Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski on stage at the TOA (Tech Open Air) conference in Berlin. Check out the video to learn more about the company's path from a local underdog to a scale-up with close to €1 billion in revenues: