• Private login

    Continue in browser

    Log in to get an overview of your purchases, upcoming payments and settle them easily with one click.

  • Business login

    Log in to manage your orders, payout reports, store statistics, and general settings.

Klarna’s history

A disruptive force coming of age.

Image of the Klarrna entrance today with big pink K on the window

In 2005, at exactly 11:06:40 am on April 10, Klarna’s first ever transaction took place at a Swedish bookshop called Pocketklubben.

In 2023, Klarna is an international company with 150m consumers and 500k retailers across 45 markets, but it wasn’t always that way. We were once a start-up from humble beginnings, and we went through many phases from our childhood and teenage years to the young adults we are today.

We will celebrate our 18th birthday, which symbolizes us coming of age as a young adult. A true milestone moment in Swedish tradition!

This is our story, so far.

And the best of it all is that it’s still being written - together with you!

Image of Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth, and Victor Jacobsson

The birth of a start-up

In 2005, our founders Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth, and Victor Jacobsson had a bold vision: to make online payments easy and safe for consumers. But when they pitched their "Buy Now, Pay Later" idea at a Shark Tank-style competition in Stockholm, the judges dismissed it. “It would never work,” they said, “and if it would work, the banks would just do it themselves."

Most would have given up, but not these three visionaries. All it took to spark the fire of disruption that represents Klarna today was a stranger encouraging Sebastian with just six words: "The banks will never do it."


I still don’t know who the person that came up to me was, but I’m as appreciative for the encouragement today as I was back then. It made me even more determined to disrupt the banking industry and I hope they are proud of what we’ve achieved so far on the journey that we’re on!

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder.


The early years: safe and easy payments

Screenshot of Klarrna homepage 2009

In the early 2000’s, online shopping was just being born and very different to what we know today. Rife with fraud and scams, it was widely regarded as unsafe and consumers were hesitant to share their credit card information and bank details online.

Klarna’s “Buy Now, Pay Later” brought a whole new level of trust and security to the online experience. By guaranteeing buyers’ protection and enabling shoppers to try before they buy, our safe and easy payments solution became a catalyst for e-commerce growth — a new tech star was born!

And our reputation as the new ‘digital’ kid on the block only grew from there, but we were still set up very much like a traditional bank. Blue suits and red ties were the uniform of choice. There was still much to learn.


Klarna was founded in Stockholm, Sweden (named ‘Kreditor’)


Expanded to the rest of the Nordics, Germany, and the Netherlands


Kreditor -> Klarna


Klarna became a 🦄 Unicorn 🦄 (company valuation exceeding $1bn)


In the early years we thought, as three twenty-something start-up founders, that we needed to act bigger than we were. We wore suits and ties and thought having business cards and phone numbers with as many zeros as possible would make people trust us. The more experienced we became, the less important we realized that those things were. It all comes down to the value that you create for your customers.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder.


Becoming the change we wanted to see

In 2014, Klarna moved into its brand new headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

By 2014, Klarna had become one of Europe's fastest-growing companies, with over 1,000 employees moving into a new headquarters in Stockholm, a significant milestone nearly a decade after the co-founders started in a crammed little office space.

Klarna's massive success made them a renowned tech wonder, but we continued to embody the characteristics of the industry we wanted to disrupt. We were on the path to becoming just another boring blue bank.

Something needed to change.


Moved into the new Klarna headquarters in Stockholm


Ranked in the top 10 on CNBC’s 2016 Disruptor 50 list


Launched in the US and UK


Klarna became active across 18 markets

Seb Spotlight V4.00 01 22 21.Still008 5x4

We experienced a major crossroads in the company's history, as we came to the realization that some of the industry practices we had digitalized were not always in the best interest of the consumer. Our first approach was to be honest about it, and our second approach was to transform the industry.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder.


Time to ditch the suit and tie

In 2017, Klarna became a fully licensed bank, and at the same time, the transformation from blue to pink started.

It was time for a new kind of bank!

Klarna logo pink

Smoooth: our identity

The new brand identity, Smoooth, did not only include a new logo, graphic identity, typeface and tonality - it marked the starting point towards creating a completely new user experience – transforming rational payment transactions into an engaging shopping experience for consumers.

Paris Hilton

World famous celebrities

We officially ditched the shirt and tie, and teamed up with world-famous celebrities. Snoop Dogg changed his name to ‘Smoooth Dogg’ and became an investor. Lady Gaga challenged outdated gender stereotypes, both literally and figuratively giving the finger to traditions. A$AP Rocky ensured consumers left lockdown in style. And most recently Paris Hilton coined the new catch phrase “That’s Smoooth!”.

Klarna app

Klarna app

The Klarna app enables consumers to save time and money when shopping in any store online or in-store in the world with smart shopping features; compare prices, find inspiration to create collections and wishlists, keep track of deliveries - and create brilliant and engaging content that’s shared with other shoppers via our creative platform, just to name a few!

Klarna card

Klarna card

The Klarna card enables consumers to save time and money when shopping in any store, online or in-store, in the world. Pay contactless in-store using the physical card or your mobile phone, and have all purchases added to the Klarna app just as when you shop online.

Pink standards

Pink standards

Klarna’s Pink Standard initiative challenges the legacy payments and banking industry to increase transparency and provide better terms for consumers. No more revolving credit, no more extra fees, more time to pay and more friendly reminders.


Klarna became a fully licensed bank


Klarna transforms from blue to pink with the new brand identity Smoooth


Klarna app launch


Pink Standards

Today, Klarna serves…




retail partners


purchases per day

…not too bad for an idea that “would never work”.

Together with you, we’ve come far since then!

Sebastian Siemiatkowski

We believe that the industry can do better, and we’re proving that it can. Klarna is becoming big enough to make a difference, and that’s incredibly inspiring!

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder.


The future is looking pink!



Klarna launches collaboration with OpenAI, becoming one of the first companies to integrate with ChatGPT

Search & Compare

Helping consumers find products across thousands of stores to find what they love for less

C02 tracker

Giving consumers insights into the environmental impact of their purchases, displaying the emissions for over 50 million items

AI-powered shopping feed

Klarna's app launches with AI product recommendation engine, enabling consumers to scroll through highly personalised product recommendations

Seb Spotlight V4.00 01 22 21.Still008 5x4

The pace of technological change in shopping and banking over the past two decades has been staggering, and we believe the next few years will be even more transformative. As a leader in this space, we have a unique opportunity to drive innovation that will fundamentally change the world for the better for consumers.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder.