Klarna, the buy now, pay later platform, has accelerated SoftBank's vigor for "go big or go home" dealmaking, with the firm leading Klarna's latest $639 million funding round.
The deal now values Klarna at a staggering $45.6 billion. Less than a year ago, the company was valued at a now-paltry $10.6 billion.
The now-public company that carried much of the weight to bring BNPL into the mainstream holds a market cap of $16.84 billion, less than half of Klarna's private valuation.
How has a Europe-based BNPL company been able to leapfrog Affirm? My guess is Klarna's ability to infiltrate the U.S. market on Affirm's home turf, and its expansive growth overall.
All things considered, SoftBank's bet on Klarna looks surprisingly reasonable. It also shows that the firm has learned its lesson from its investments in WeWork, which were based more on a dream and less on fundamentals.
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