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The secret behind how Klarna became one of the most disruptive companies.

24 June 2020 - 3 min read


Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Chief Executive Officer


Last week, Klarna was

private company in the world. At the same time, we’re launching a plethora of new products and services to optimise our offering to consumers and merchants even more. How are we able to keep the momentum? I believe in part the secret lies within our operating model. Let me explain why.

It’s an honour to have been recognized by CNBC as one of the most innovative companies globally for the third time, and this time making it into the top 5. This is a real testament to the incredible work Klarna employees are doing each day as we strive to redefine shopping.

Just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been able to roll out several new products that are tailored to improve the Klarna experience even further:



with a variety of new features to enhance the shopping experience, including tailored inspiration and personalized shopping, wish lists that let you save the items you love and need, the new ‘My Klarna tab’ that gives you quick access to information about your purchases, payments and deliveries, and more.



, the first rewards club for buy now, pay later customers. For all purchases made with Klarna – no matter the store – consumers will earn one “vibe” (point) for every $1 they spend. Vibe adds many benefits to our shoppers, including rewards and exclusive offers.

Last week, we launched in Belgium as the latest addition to the growing number of markets we operate in.

All of this was just in the last few weeks, and there are of course plenty of other things going behind the scenes to improve our services for consumers, retailers, and partners. I’m happy to see that our efforts resonate with merchants, with several new major global partnerships being signed.

The secret ingredient.

How is it possible for us to keep this momentum and constantly bring new disruptive products and features to the market? What is the secret sauce? To put it simply, it’s all about our operating model. Or Klarna’s DNA, if you will. Let me explain why.

Klarna is made up of more than 450 teams that operate like independent startups aligned on our overarching vision and mission. The teams are made up of people with different competences and have their own problem space to solve for. This optimises for speed, flow and quality, which enables the team to solve a problem in the best possible way, as autonomously as possible. For Klarna as a company, this setup gives us the possibility to work on multiple projects in parallel, as demonstrated above.

Our operating model, therefore, enables agility and fast growth as well as experimentation and expansion into new areas and new problem spaces. It’s also easier to understand what’s working and what doesn’t, allowing us to allocate resources in the most efficient way possible.

Even though Klarna now consists of more than 3000 employees in 17 markets, we’re still able to act like a fast-moving disruptor and keep innovating the online retail space. Every day, all of us wake up with the mission to meet the needs of shoppers worldwide. There’s so much more to come.

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