33. Klarna

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Sebastian Siemiatkowski,Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth.
Source: Klarna
Sebastian Siemiatkowski,Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth.

Founders: Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth
Date launched: 2005
Funding: $300 million
Industries disrupted: e-commerce, online payments

As many retailers will tell you, online shopping is not synonymous with online purchasing. There are still a large number of shoppers who, when frustrated with an overly time-consuming and complex checkout process, will simply give up before completing their purchase.


To solve this issue, Klarna, a 10-year-old Swedish e-commerce company, created Klarna Checkout—a process that separates buying from paying. A customer making an online purchase enters only their email address and Zip code to buy an item. Klarna pays the retailer immediately and then collects the amount due from the consumer within 14 days. The company makes its money predominately through the fees it charges merchants for its service.

Klarna has grown into a substantial player in Europe with this formula, posting revenue of $300 million last year. Now the company is entering the crowded U.S. online payments market and will have to compete with the likes of industry giants PayPal, Apple and Amazon. Company founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski says Klarna has set up offices in New York City and has already hired executives from PayPal and Apple. Investors like the company's chances in the U.S. market. So far, Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic and DST Global have collectively invested $300 million.

"Our vision is clear: We want to become the world’s favorite way to buy. If users love our products, particularly on mobile, we know that we have successfully disrupted broken mobile payments." -Niklas Adalberth, deputy CEO, Klarna

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