No one gets into the online payments industry because it’s easy. But Niklas Adalberth founded Stockholm-based Klarna in 2005 together with his fellow students Sebastian Siemiatkowski and Victor Jacobsson. Their idea was to provide a frictionless payment solution that would allow buyers and sellers to interact with each other as safely and simply as possible.
In the meantime, Klarna has grown into a multinational with more than 700 dedicated employees. In December 2011, the company received $155M of financing from DST Global and General Atlantic to fuel its rapid growth and expand to new markets.
We are proud to have Adalberth as a speaker at our Arctic15 conference this October. To give you a little more background before you see him on stage, here’s a short interview:
How did the idea of Klarna come about in the beginning?
Sebastian, one of the co-founders, was taking a year off from studies to work that had a lot to do with e-merchants. He learned that a lot of them rejected invoicing as a method of payment because of the involved risk. However, they were all positive towards invoicing if only the risk and administration could be eliminated. This led us to start talking about how we could make shopping online better for both merchants and customers. The vision was to make online shopping as simple and safe as in any physical store. Sebastian, Victor and I started the company with the help of a business angel while still at the Stockholm School of Economics,and we were profitable after six months.
What were the most challenging and rewarding parts of the journey?
The most challenging part is that we have to evaluate and challenge ourselves constantly. Growing as fast as we have done, we have to questionif the processes, people, and organization that was right yesterday will stillbe right tomorrow.
The most rewarding part is that we have gained the trust from some of the world’s most prominent investors. Just to have Sequoia Capitalinvesting and Michael Moritz actually being on our board is fantastic, and shows that a lot of very knowledgeable people believe in Klarna´s potential.
Why should we all use Klarna for payments?
Because the statistics are indisputable. Using Klarna makes it simpler and safer for customers to shop online. Hence, it increases sales for merchants.
What do you think you’ll talk about at theArctic15?
I will definitely tell the Klarna story, as well as sharesome of my experiences to other entrepreneurs.
Find out more information about the Arctic15 conference by going to Arctic15.com!