Fashion chain H&M is paying $20 million for a modest stake (less than 1%, according to reports) in Klarna in what will be the Swedish payment service provider's largest global partnership to date (via Reuters).
H&M and Klarna says they will further integrate the chain’s digital and physical stores to give customers a "seamless, personalised and engaging shopping experience" for millions of customers across 14 markets - no matter where, when and how they shop.
Klarna, founded in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2005, has become one of Europe’s leading payments providers and a newly-licensed bank. The company works with 90,000 merchants, including ASOS, Adidas and IKEA, and boasts 2,000 employees.
Klarna recently acquired Close Brothers Retail Finance (CBRF) from a UK-based merchant banking group to start working with more than 600 active merchants in the UK, including Samsung Electronics, Mothercare, GAME, Jessops, Ebuyer, Emma Mattress, Cotswold Outdoor, and Victorian Plumbing.
I recently sat down to interview 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: