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Swedish fintech Klarna is streamlining its focus on payments by selling Klarna Checkout (KCO), its online shopping platform, to a consortium of investors led by BLQ Invest.

BLQ CEO Kamjar Hajabdolahi is heading up the takeover, with other participants including Systemic Growth and its founder Ashkan Pouya, and entrepreneur Martin Randel.

According to Klarna’s statement, this forms part of the buyer’s wider plans to invest in and grow innovative Swedish companies. This particularly falls in line with Hajabdolahi and BLQ’s ‘Buy and Build’ strategy.

The buyers aim to build on the success of KCO, which has built up market share of 40% in Sweden and 20% across the Nordic markets since launch in 2012, with plans to continue evolution of the offering upon taking control on 1 October.

Hajabdolahi said: “We are thrilled to acquire Klarna Checkout and our ambition is to build on the solid foundation established by Klarna and take KCO to the next level, continuously evolving the product to meet the needs of our merchant partners and drive the future of e-commerce.

“We look forward to engaging with our merchant partners and presenting our plans and roadmap for the continued evolution of KCO.”

Having built up a presence across various markets including Europe and the US, Klarna is now looking to streamline its operations and focus on the payments sector by offloading KCO.

The firm has been particularly active in the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space of late, benefiting from a surge in popularity of the payment method across various markets. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) is often cited by the company as central to its growth. 

In its last published financial results, the firm cited AI-backed payments solutions as driving 29% growth in adjusted operating income of SEK 229m (Q1 2023: €19.97m)

“Klarna Checkout is very dear to me, and the impact it’s had on Klarna’s journey is immense,” commented Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Klarna.

“I’m so pleased it’s finding a new home, with owners who are carefully handpicked to continue to create outstanding value for our merchant partners. I look forward to working closely with them as they establish the next phase for KCO.”