Careers at Klarna
Klarna’s mission is to make paying for online purchases simpler and safer.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson, and Niklas Adalberth were students at the Stockholm School of Economics. In 2005 they participated in the institution’s annual entrepreneurship contest. Their entry was an idea involving simpler, safer, and more fun online shopping for consumers and merchants. Their concept was poorly received; however, they did not let failure deter them. Instead, they launched their business, a payment solution called Kreditor. It allows customers to make online purchases, receive them, then pay for the items later via invoice. It was only offered in Sweden.
Kreditor began to achieve success, with more and more consumers and online retailers using it. At the beginning of 2007, it marked the signing of its 1,000th vendor. In 2008, it opened its offering to Denmark, Finland, and Norway. That same year, the company unveiled its second offering, an installment payment solution. In 2009 the company changed its name to Klarna, believing that it would help aid its expansion outside the Nordic region. By 2010 Klarna had opened offices in Germany and the Netherlands, and was growing quickly. The same year it released a mobile app.
The next few years saw a number of milestones. In 2012 the company introduced a new payment solution, Klarna Checkout. The year ended with record-breaking shopping totals for the Christmas season in all of its locations. In 2013 it acquired SOFORT, a German online payment firm whose offerings were complementary. This gave Klarna a 10% share of the payment solution market in Northern Europe, making Klarna its top provider. In 2014, Klarna processed 30% of all online sales in Sweden and processed $9 billion worth of transactions globally. In 2015 the company entered the United States market, which is a focus of future growth. Klarna is now valued at $2.25 billion.
Logo © by Klarna (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Benefits at Klarna
Business model of Klarna
Klarna has a multi-sided business model, with two interdependent customer segments that are both needed in order to operate:
- Consumers – Individuals who want the flexibility and security that comes with paying for purchases after delivery.
- Merchants – Businesses seeking customers who may want more flexibility in their payments.
Klarna offers four primary value propositions: convenience, performance, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company offers convenience to consumers through Klarna Checkout. The feature enables users to make online purchases with one click, saving them time. This is because all of their payment information is saved the first time they log in. The feature also saves merchants money and time in administration.
The company has demonstrated strong performance by generating strong results for vendors. Positive outcomes for specific merchants include the following:
- Wish.com – 20% increase in average order value, 25% conversion increase, a 40% increase in sales, and an 8.6/10 customer satisfaction rating
- Adlibris – 80% mobile conversion increase and an 8.8/10 customer satisfaction rating
- Fitnessguru – 12% increase in average order value, 25% conversion increase on desktop, and a 40% conversion increase on mobile devices
The company reduces risk through various protection features. It offers Pay After Delivery, which enables consumers to pay only after their purchase has been received. They have up to 14 days after delivery to make the payment. Klarna also offers a Purchase Protection program in case of problems with the order. Specifically, it provides a refund if the item does not arrive; if it is damaged, defective, or incomplete; or if it does not match the seller’s online description. At the same time, Klarna reduces risk for merchants. It pays them immediately after an order has been placed, getting reimbursed for the upfront cost when the consumer pays for the purchase later.
The company has developed a powerful brand because of its success. It is used by 65,000 online retailers and 45 million consumers. It operates in 18 countries and has a 10% share of the eCommerce market in Northern Europe. It oversees 400,000 transactions per day and has presided over more than 315 million transactions since its inception. Lastly, it has numerous prominent clients, including Samsung, Disney, Spotify, Overstock.com, Shoes.com, and ASOS.
Klarna’s main channel is its direct sales team, through which it acquires most customers. The company promotes its offering through its website and social media pages.
Klarna’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the website while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides detailed answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Klarna’s business model entails maintaining a common platform between two parties: consumers and merchants.
Klarna partners with companies that want to integrate its services into their solutions. It offers preconfigured plug-ins and modules for all common online retail platforms. It also provides a portal for developers to obtain helpful resources. The company’s partners include IBM, pdsCommerce, Pay-On, Cardinal Commerce, and Magento.
Klarna’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which connects more than 65,000 retailers with over 45 million consumers. It also depends heavily on its technology employees to maintain and enhance the platform. Other important human resources include sales/marketing and customer service employees. Its staff includes individuals from many prominent firms, including Google, Apple, Facebook, PayPal, Experian, and Zynga. Lastly, as a relatively new startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $291.3 million from 12 investors as of March 2014.
Klarna has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is transaction expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations.
Klarna has four revenues streams:
One-Time Fees – These consist of the following:
- Merchants – Klarna charges a set-up fee for certain features such as Klarna Checkout.
- Consumers – Klarma charges a one-time fee for usage of its installment payment solution.
Usage Fees – This includes the following:
- Merchants – Klarna charges a monthly fee for usage of certain features such as Klarna Checkout.
Transaction Fees – This includes the following:
- Merchants – Klarna charges a fee of 1.5% to 3% per payment transaction.
Interest Fees – This includes the following:
- Consumers – Klarna charges an interest fee for late payments that increases for large outstanding balances. It also charges an interest fee for usage of its installment solution.
info: Sebastian earned a Master’s degree in Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics. He has more than eight years of experience in sales and previously served as Head of Sales at Djuice Uppsala.
info: Knut earned a Master of Laws degree in European Intellectual Property Law at Stockholm University. He previously served as the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Culture Officer of Klarna, as well as the Head of Legal at Modern Times Group.
info: Carol earned a degree at the University of Dallas. She previously served as the Director of U.S. Consumer Marketing, Director of U.S. Consumer Acquisition, and Director of Campaign Marketing Strategy at PayPal, as well as a Vice President at Citi Cards.
info: Brian earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, Philosophy, and Business at Ohio University. He previously served as the Director of Strategic Business Development at Alliance Data and as a Strategist at FIS.
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