The Swedish fintech should only be valued at 30 billion dollars. Also: Meta changes Whatsapp's business model and Lucid builds first foreign factory in Saudi Arabia.
CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski founded the startup in 2005 together with two friends.
David M. Benett/ Getty Images
Good Morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
According to a media report, Klarna wants to raise new funds of one billion US dollars. In the new financing round, however, the Swedish fintech could be valued at almost a third less than just under a year ago. At that time, the financial services provider was valued at around $46 billion, now it's probably only $30 billion. The case reflects the increasingly harsh environment in the technology sector, which is being impacted by stock market turmoil, regulatory measures, high inflation, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Klarna specializes in "buy now, pay later" services and today operates in 20 markets worldwide, although its operating losses nearly doubled to $487 million in 2021. Previous investors include Softbank, Sequoia Capital and Permira. The hopes that rested on the company were high so far: A round of financing in 2021 once made Klarna Europe's most valuable start-up and only in February "Bloomberg News" reported that Klarna in a new investment round with a valuation of 50 to 60 billion dollars could calculate. [More at Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg]
On the start-up scene: The British smartphone bank Revolut is worth around 30 billion euros, more than three times as much as its German competitor N26. Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky does not see the German fintech as a challenge, as he revealed to our editor Lisa Ksienrzyk in an interview. Even tech companies like Apple would not deter him. You can read with us what the fintech billionaire is doing instead. [More at Gründerszene+]
And here are the other headlines of the night:
Facebook's parent company Meta is redesigning its messenger service Whatsapp. Eight years after the purchase, the group sets up an interface for corporate customers and also offers fee-based premium services for business customers. In this way, companies should be able to interact better with their customers, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained on Thursday. [More at Handelsblatt and Techcrunch]
Lucid will set up its first overseas factory in Saudi Arabia. The US electric vehicle manufacturer wants to produce 155,000 vehicles per year at the new production facility and initially serve the local market. Later, vehicles will also be exported. Lucid's Arizona factory can produce an additional 350,000 units per year. In addition to the commitment with Lucid, Saudi Arabia also wants to settle battery companies and suppliers in the country in the future, thereby creating 30,000 additional jobs. [More at CNBC]
Google may have to break up its digital advertising business: this would be the case if a new bipartisan bill were to be implemented. Such a move could prohibit companies that handle more than $20 billion in digital ad transactions annually from being involved in more than one part of the digital ad process. Advertising has been a big part of parent company Alphabet's business to date. In the first quarter, Alphabet reported revenue of $68.01 billion, of which $54.66 billion came from advertising. [More at Wall Street Journal]
FTX.US, the Chicago-based sister company of the global crypto exchange FTX, will also offer stock trading in the future. The offer starts with a group of users who are allowed to trade stocks and ETFs without having to pay commissions on transactions. With the stock trading theme, FTX.US continues to expand into traditional financial services. The move also deepens FTX.US' competition with trading platform Robinhood, despite Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and founder of FTX and FTX.US, recently acquiring a 7.6 percent stake in Robinhood. [More at The Information and Techcrunch]
SpaceX reportedly paid a flight attendant $250,000 after Elon Musk allegedly exposed himself to her and offered her sex. The sum was intended to ensure that it would not go to the press or sue the company. The flight attendant is said to have worked as a crew member on a SpaceX corporate flight. Musk told Business Insider, "If I had a tendency toward sexual harassment, this probably wouldn't be the first time in my 30-year career that this has come to light." However, Musk's SpaceX and Tesla companies are already more common accused of a culture of sexual harassment. [More at Business Insider and The Verge]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: A lot has happened since allegations of fraud against influencer Fynn Kliemann became public. We have summarized the most important events for you: The chronicle of an influencer fiasco. [More at start-up scene]
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