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Klarna in talks with investors to raise more money -CEO

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A smartphone displays a Klarna logo on top of banknotes is in this illustration

By Supantha Mukherjee

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish payments firm Klarna is in talks with investors to raise more money and has no plans to go public this year, Chief Executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski said in an interview two days after the firm laid off 700 staff.

The company made about 10% of its workforce redundant on Monday, citing rampant inflation and the war in Ukraine worsening business sentiment.

The decision to lay off staff was made in the first week of May and was not due to investor pressure, Siemiatkowski said in an interview at Klarna's headquarters in Stockholm.

"I was the one who brought it to the board that we have taken this decision ... it's often better to be proactive than reactive," he said.

"You want to avoid as much as possible the scenario where you have to make a second decision later."

The company, which is one of the hottest startups in Europe, was widely expected to go public this year. But market volatility following Russian's invasion of Ukraine has held it back.

"I would like to go to a public market that is stable ... there was never a decision to go public this year," Siemiatkowski said.

In the latest funding round Klarna will likely get a valuation of about $33 billion, lower than the valuation of about $46 billion it got in June, a source familiar with the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported the fundraising.

Siemiatkowski declined to give details on the fundraising or on the valuation.

The company has no plans to exit any of its 45 markets and will probably enter new ones, Siemiatkowski said.

"I have learned over my years with this company to never start a market and pull out because the loss of faith and trust that it creates is almost impossible to come back (from)."

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Matt Scuffham, Kirsten Donovan)

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