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Ant Financial Service Group acquires a minority stake in Klarna

Sadiyah Ismailjee
05 March 2020

Klarna, the disruptive payment provider said on Wednesday that the owner of China’s Alipay, Ant Financial Services Group had acquired a minority stake in it as the two strengthen their online shopping partnership.

The pair have not disclosed terms of the deal but Reuters reported the stake amounts to less than 1% and was made up of existing and new shares.

Ant Financial Service Group is part of Chinese ecommerce and multinational retail giant, Alibaba Group. Back in 2018, the financial service company took a 33% stake in the fintech company, giving it direct ownership of its suite of products and services — including an investment fund, micro-loans, insurance services, a digital bank and the Alipay mobile payments platform.

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski told Reuters "the current partnership where Klarna payments are available in AliExpress should now expand to new markets globally," adding that Klarna and Ant Financial would also develop new products.

The group has no current plans to enter China but the acquisition will deepen ongoing collaborations between Klarna and Alipay, which currently enables shoppers at AliExpress, to use Klarna’s popular ‘Pay later’ solution across multiple markets.

Ant Financial's investment in Klarna, will support the further development of their strategic cooperation, bringing more of Klarna’s innovative solutions to consumers and merchants within the broader Alibaba ecosystem.

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiątkowski stated: “For too long consumers have had to endure non-intuitive, boring and overly complex services when shopping both online and offline. At the heart of this cooperation between Klarna and Alipay is a shared ambition of innovating truly superior shopping experiences and creating destinations of inspiration for consumers across the world.”

He added "Alipay, and the wider Alibaba Group, have truly set the global pace on retail innovation and the app economy. We are delighted in this confidence shown in Klarna in defining the future of payments and shopping and are very much looking forward to working together further in the future."

Klarna, Europe’s most valuable fintech, has financial backing from the likes of rapper Snoop Dogg, who is also part of the company’s marketing. Other investors include venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and Australia’s biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Klarna offers direct payments, pay after delivery options and instalment plans in a smooth one-click purchase experience that lets consumers pay when and how they prefer to.

The leading global payments and shopping provider, was founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden with the aim of making it easier for people to shop online. The payment provider is now one of the world’s largest banks and is providing payment solutions for 80 million consumers across 190,000 merchants in 17 countries.

Klarna also employs over 2,700 people worldwide, 120 of whom are based in the UK spread across its two offices, London and Manchester.



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