Stockholm-based Klarna, the oldest and biggest of the payment firms dedicated to buy now, pay later services, isn’t a household name in the U.S. But that may soon change. Klarna has been going directly after deals with large U.S. retailers such as Macy’s, Sephora and Nike.
Targeting big retailers—rather than focusing on deals with firms like Shopify and BigCommerce, the gateways to millions of small online merchants—is at the core of Klarna’s U.S. growth strategy. The 15-year-old company has raised $3.9 billion in funding, at a valuation of $46 billion, from SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and others. Now it’s seeking to gain visibility and customers in the U.S., where it’s up against Affirm, Square with Afterpay, and potentially Apple.
David Sykes, who heads Klarna’s North American operations, sees a “land grab” that Klarna is racing to win. “Twelve months from now, there will not be a major retailer that’s not offering buy now, pay later,” he said in an interview last week.