Klarna’s Global Merchandise Volume Jumps 42% in ’21 as US Users Grow 71%


Buy now pay later (BNPL) giant Klarna posted year-end results for 2021 that continued to show runaway success in the U.S., with a 71% surge in users, which helped push the company to a 42% increase in global transaction volume and a 38% jump in global net operating income in 2021 over 2020, according to a statement about the results on Monday (Feb. 28). 

The U.S. was the second-highest revenue center for Klarna, which is now collaborating with 30 of the top 100 retail brands in the country — including Net-A-Porter, PetCo, Lululemon, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Converse, Ralph Lauren — and over 50 global luxury and premium retailers.

Overall, the Klarna ecosystem now has over 147 million active users and over 400,000 global merchants that drove gross merchandise volumes (GMV) to $80 billion in 2021. The Swedish company added 46 million new consumers in 2021 via acquisitions, which grew Klarna’s global reach to 45 countries. Net operating income increased 38% to $1.6 billion, according to the statement. 

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Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of Klarna, said that 99% of the company’s BNPL loans are repaid worldwide, and the PayNow option comprises 40% of total transaction volume. 

“With our focus on creating products which consumers love powered by effective underwriting, our credit loss rates have reduced by over 30% since 2019. This is a major achievement, most importantly since behind that numerical reduction is the lives of tens of thousands of consumers where we have avoided adding to an unhealthy debt burden,” Siemiatkowski said. 

He added that credit losses are growing “entirely explained by Klarna’s growth, expansion to new markets, and massive inflow of new customers.”

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Europe’s most valuable startup, the Klarna app is the biggest driver of GMV across the Klarna ecosystem, and was responsible for fueling growth for Klarna and its retail partners through consumer acquisition and referrals, according to the statement.

Klarna has been backed by Sequoia Capital since 2010 and more recently, SoftBank, Dragoneer, Bestseller Group, Permira, Visa, Atomico, Ant Group, Silver Lake, HMI Capital, TCV, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Chrysalis Investments Limited and others. 

The company raised $639 million in venture funding in June 2021, valuing Klarna at $45.6 billion. Klarna is reportedly eyeing a new funding round that could bring its valuation to $60 billion.

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