European buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Klarna is on the verge of securing a new funding round that could value the firm at $40 billion, CNBC reported Thursday (May 27), citing sources close to the matter. The network reported that the investment has the backing of SoftBank and numerous other investors as Klarna prepared for what could be a “blockbuster stock market listing.”
The size of this funding round is not clear, but would likely be lower than the $1 billion raised by Klarna in March, when the company was valued at $31 billion.
“If the deal goes through, Klarna will cement its place as European’s most valuable private tech unicorn, surpassing the likes of Amazon-backed food delivery service Deliveroo and online payment processor Checkout, which hit a $15 billion valuation in January,” according to CNBC.
Soon after the funding round news broke, Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski said on Twitter that the company has experienced a “self-inflicted incident.”
“So sad and frustrating to realize that we have had a self-inflicted incident, for 30 min, affecting the privacy of some of our users,” he said, indicating that Klarna might have had a data breach. “Full attention from all colleagues to bring back things to normal, take actions to avoid this going forward and communicate broadly.”
Klarna has enjoyed rapid growth in the decade since its founding, particularly in its expansion in the U.S. The rise of BNPL plans last year, driven by COVID-19 and a big shift to online shopping, gave the company a big boost.
But the new demand for buy now, pay later products has attracted the attention of regulators in Great Britain, who plan to introduce strict regulations for this sector. As PYMNTS reported last week, these rules could determine whether Klarna lists itself on the London stock exchange in an initial public offering.