Klarna Beefs Up Banking Services with PriceRunner Acquisition

Klarna's retail partners will get behavioural insight, “increased website traffic” from consumers and marketing opportunities.

Klarna will acquire product and price comparison service PriceRunner to strengthen its shopping, payments and banking services.

Financial details were not disclosed. According to Klarna, a Stockholm-based “global retail bank”, PriceRunner will bring new features in the form of product reviews, product discovery and price comparisons for its 90 million global consumers.

PriceRunner is active in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK. According to its site, users can compare prices on 2.2 million products from 5,900 UK stores. During the 12-month period ending on 30 September 2021, PriceRunner had revenues amounting to SEK 460 million (£39.5 million).

In terms of the B2B aspect, Klarna will also add PriceRunner’s functionality so its retail partners will get behavioural insight, “increased website traffic” from consumers and marketing opportunities.

David Fock, Klarna’s Chief Product Officer, says the deal “further cements that Klarna will not be a marketplace but a viable and competitive alternative for retail partners vs Amazon, Google and Facebook”.

PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and has 170+ employees. It’s not clear what will happen to them as part of the deal.

Mikael Lindahl, PriceRunner’s CEO, adds: ”We have spent the last five years rebuilding PriceRunner from scratch to create a best-in-class comparison shopping service while helping retail partners improve their business.”

The acquisition is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

The Rise of Klarna 

Klarna works with consumers and retailers – and offers payments, social shopping and personal finances. It has over 250,000 retail partners, such as H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress.

The firm has a valuation of $45.6 billion (£33.1 billion) and was founded in 2005. Klarna has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 countries.

It is a very hungry company. Recent acquisitions include travel-planning app Inspirock, virtual shopping platform HERO, SaaS solution Apprl and mobile wallet company Stocard.

In September, eWeek UK looked at the Swedish fintech company and its e-commerce operations in the UK.

The firm is noted for its buy now, pay later (BNPL) activities. Although, its acquisition announcement today (2 November) stressed that it’s a global retail bank. When it comes to the BNPL aspect, Klarna faces competition in the UK from such firms as PayDock, PayPal, Clearpay, Payl8r and Laybuy.

The UK is the second largest European economy and Klarna has made it clear that it sees the nation as valuable. The firm has expanded its Manchester office and in May said it was planning a new headquarters in London. It is also looking to double its staff by the end of 2021. With over 13,000 retailers and 14 million shoppers, Klarna UK thrives on the possibility of dominating the market.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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