Victor Jacobsson’s strategic investments in Klarna

Category: Europe Fintech Forex

Victor Jacobsson, the elusive co-founder of Klarna, has been quietly amassing a significant stake in the company through special purpose vehicles, positioning himself as one of its largest shareholders ahead of an anticipated initial public offering.

Jacobsson, (pictured above), who co-founded the $6.7bn fintech Swedish buy now, pay later pioneer Klarna in 2005 alongside the group’s current leader Sebastian Siemiatkowski, left the company in 2012. Despite his departure, Jacobsson has remained one of the most active investors in Klarna, leveraging his “right of first refusal” to purchase Klarna stock in the secondary market through special purpose vehicles.

The exact size of Jacobsson’s ownership remains unclear due to his shares being held through various corporate entities. However, it is estimated that his stake is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and may even surpass that of CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski’s roughly 8 percent stake.

Jacobsson’s influence at Klarna has recently come under scrutiny after Sequoia Capital, Klarna’s largest investor with a 22 percent stake, failed to remove venture capital group’s former leader Michael Moritz as chair. The conflict highlighted the tension about the influence of certain shareholders over Klarna’s corporate governance, with special voting rights resembling a “shadow governance structure that impeded the ability of the board”.

As Klarna plans to set up a new UK holding company to simplify its corporate structure and switch its domicile ahead of an expected New York listing, there may no longer be the same special rights for certain investors under new shareholder agreements.

Fintech pioneer

Klarna, founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden, aimed to simplify online shopping. Over the years, it has evolved into one of Europe’s largest fintechs with 90,000,000 customers, over 200,000 merchants, and at least 1,000,000 transactions a day. Klarna’s innovative approach, from pioneering payment solutions to harnessing the power of affiliate marketing, positions it at the forefront of the fintech revolution.

Klarna’s unique marketing strategy, which focuses on offering an end-to-end inspirational and “smoooth” shopping journey, has been a key driver of its exponential growth. As a global leader in the ‘buy now, pay later’ space, Klarna continues to re-imagine the payments and shopping experience, providing value to retailers and shoppers worldwide.

Despite recent boardroom disputes, Klarna’s journey from a fintech pioneer to a global banking powerhouse is a testament to its innovative approach and strategic positioning in the fintech landscape.



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