Klarna Acquires HERO To Enhance Social Shopping


Payments and shopping platform Klarna is partnering with social shopping startup HERO to bring retailers a solution to create shoppable content right from their brick-and-mortar location.

“Immersive shopping experiences are now expected by consumers when shopping online and forward-thinking brands want to provide consumers with a rich, interactive way to shop for their products. With HERO we share an ambition to elevate the shopping experience through the convergence of online and in-store shopping experiences, supporting retailers to inform and engage consumers in new ways,” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in a press release.

He added that with HERO’s expertise, Klarna can assist retailers in becoming “global brand ambassadors” and give consumers a “new hybrid shopping experience.”

Based in Sweden, Klarna will bring HERO to its 250,000 retail partners, which will enable in-store teams to become contact creators and offer information in real time that is centered on the merchandise they sell. Hero’s workforce of more than 100 employees will join Klarna’s team. 

Headquartered in London and New York, HERO launched six years ago to bring digital concepts to physical stores and develop a personalized way for shoppers to engage with brands. The company works with Levi, rag & bone, Chloé, Harvey Nichols and more. 

Social commerce in the U.S. is forecast to hit $84 billion by 2024 and is gaining traction across demographics. Some 28 percent of the U.S. population is anticipated to embrace social shopping by 2022, according to the press release. 

HERO Founder Adam Levene said the company has “long admired” Klarna and the move will mean that more merchants and shoppers will get to experience a “more human” way to shop that is both social and interactive.

The acquisition is anticipated to cost Klarna an estimated $160 million, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

Klarna partnered last month with embedded business finance firm Liberis to offer merchants revenue-based loans and other financial services. Klarna is one of the most valuable private tech firms in Europe and extends its buy now, pay later (BNPL) services to 250,000 merchants in 17 countries.