SoftBank is backing Europe’s most valuable tech startup Klarna in a funding round that values it at over $40 billion
Softbank is back. Two weeks ago, Softbank shocked its critics when it announced a $36.99 billion profit in just 3 months, making it the biggest profit in the history of a Japanese company. Now, with billions in spending war chest, Softbank has been investing heavily in the world’s most innovative startups.
This week, Softbank invested more than half a billion dollars in two artificial intelligence startups. Yesterday, SoftBank led a $0.5 billion investment in AI-driven digital experience analytics tech startup Contentsquare. A few days before that, Softbank also led a $175 million investment in South Korea-based EdTech startup and AI tutoring platform Riiid.
Today, SoftBank is reportedly backing Europe’s most valuable tech startup Klarna in a funding round that values the company at over $40 billion, making it one of the top members of the global unicorn club. Over the past 12 months, the demand in the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) sector has skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced crisis.
Klarna is a leader in this space. According to Business Insider, who first reported the news, the unicorn startup close to securing new funding round at a valuation of more than $40 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. The funding is being backed by SoftBank alongside multiple other investors, the person familiar with the ongoing negotiation told Business Insider. The person also asked to remain anonymous as the details have not yet been made public.
We’ve covered Klarna many times in the past. In March, Klarna secured $1 billion in an equity funding round to accelerate international expansion and further capture global retail growth.
Klarna was founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. In the last 12 years, technology has evolved, excited, and transformed the world around us, yet their mission remains as relevant as ever, to make paying as simple, safe, and above all, smooth as possible.
Klarna’s app has more than 12 million monthly active users worldwide, with 55,000 daily downloads, significantly outpacing its nearest competitor with almost 4x as many downloads over the last year. Klarna, a unicorn startup, is one of the world’s largest providers of “buy now, pay later” services, which offer shoppers interest-free financing over a period of installments.