Losses at Klarna quadruple as costs rise and credit losses rise

Net losses at Swedish payments provider Klarna quadrupled in a bruising first half in which the valuation of Europe’s most valuable private technology plummeted.

The payments company reported a net loss of 6.2 billion Swedish krona ($581 million) for the first half of 2022 on Wednesday, compared with 1.4 billion Swedish krona a year earlier.

He attributed the worsening losses to higher personnel costs, investments in the integration of the newly acquired Swedish shopping comparison service PriceRunner and rising credit losses. He attributed the higher credit losses to difficulties in underwriting new customers with limited credit histories.

Revenue grew 24% year-on-year to SEK 9.1 billion, driven by growth in markets such as the United States, where Klarna has amassed 30 million users, a fifth of its global total . It has also expanded to new countries, including the Czech Republic, Canada and Greece.

“Klarna operated in a very different environment in the first half of 2022,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and Co-Founder. “When we made our business plans for 2022 in the fall of last year, it was a very different world than the one we find ourselves in today.”

Klarna’s difficulties reflect challenges facing the broader buy now, pay later industry as falling consumer spending and increased regulatory scrutiny hit popular credit products, which allow consumers to defer or split payments into multiple instalments.

After several attempts to raise funds at higher valuations, Klarna’s share value fell in July to $7 billion after raising $800 million from investors including Sequoia and Mubadala, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi.

Klarna secured a $46 billion valuation as recently as June last year, following a $639 million funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank, the investment group behind it. origin of a disastrous bet on the office sharing group WeWork.

The company cut its workforce by 10% in May, as Siemiatkowski said it would focus on “short-term profitability”. Klarna has not been profitable since 2019.

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