“House of Klarna” pop-up opens to the UK public today
Today the pay-later platform, Klarna, has opened its pop-up store in Manchester to the public. The event follows on from the successful event in Co...
Today the pay-later platform, Klarna, has opened its pop-up store in Manchester to the public. The event follows on from the successful event in Covent Garden, U.K, back in June 2019. Users of the platform can congregate at 35 Kings Street, Manchester, M2 7AT, where major partners of the brand such as ASOS, Oliver Bonas, Topshop, Topman, House of Holland, Missguided, BEAUTY BAY, My Protein and Schuh will showcase products and services.
A ‘smoooth’ experience
The event is not only set to create further publicity for Klarna and its partners by devoting 10 days to talks, beauty and lifestyle sessions, but to act as something of a shrine to design and great customer experiences.
Events across the three-story building will include a number of free beauty treatments, styling sessions with the aforementioned partners and yoga, but it will also invite c-suite executives of these companies to speak on their careers. Henry Holland is due to speak this evening at the Pop-up on his career at House of Holland.
Sara Morris, Senior Press & Marketing Officer at Oliver Bonas, commented: “We are so excited to join Klarna in Manchester for the ‘House of Klarna’. We believe that design has the power to positively affect how people feel and with Klarna’s understanding of how to create a first-class customer experience, we’re excited to present OB at the ‘House of Klarna’. As the only brand showcasing furniture at the pop-up, we can’t wait to welcome shoppers into our home for ten days”.
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Eve Williams, Brand Experience Director at ASOS said: “At ASOS we want to give our customers the best choice in everything we do; whether that is in the broad range of ASOS Design and branded products, smooth and fast delivery options or payment options. We know these are all important to our customers and we look forward to bringing them to life with Klarna’s fun event in Manchester”.
A great year for Klarna
2019 has been a strong year for Klarna as the platform has processed 12mn transactions in the last year alone, according to its report. 50,000 users a week are opting to ‘pay-later’ through Klarna. The company, which was founded in 2005 now holds a post money valuation of US$5.5bn, making Klarna the largest fintech in Europe.
Luke Griffiths, General Manager at Klarna UK, commented on the news: “The growth we’ve seen since launching in the UK has been astounding, but I’m particularly proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in the last 12 months. Not only have we grown exponentially in terms of volumes and partners, but we’ve also grown our footprint across the UK with the launch of our Manchester office earlier this year.
We know that customers love the flexibility and convenience that comes with alternative payments, and by delivering the best possible experience to shoppers, we’ve been able to partner with some remarkable brands and retailers in the UK. There are a number of significant announcements in the pipeline and I’m confident we’ll continue to go from strength to strength.”
The pop-up will be open to the public until 13. October.
All images: Klarna
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Robinhood faces $35mn fine from New York DFS
The company’s crypto division was issued with a wrist slap in 2020, following the red flagging of several “matters requiring attention”. Robinhood revealed it had reached a settlement with the New York State Department of Financial Services regarding the issues, which related to “alleged violations” of cybersecurity and anti-money laundering rules.
The news follows on from the announcement earlier this week that the trading platform favoured by armchair investors, which almost broke Wall Street earlier this year, has an expected valuation of $35bn following its IPO.
Critics of the platform say Robinhood encourages “risky behaviour” among inexperienced (armchair) investors. The app has also been criticised for not informing customers that much of its profits are generated by routing their trades to Wall Street firms taking the other side, or so-called "payment for order flow."
Robinhood said last month they expected the DFS fine to be at the $15mn mark, adding it would be “the bottom of the range for our probable loss in this matter”. The $35mn penalty is on top of the record $70mn Robinhood incurred from US financial regulator FINRA in June, for “lax vetting and outages.”
However, the settlement indicates the company’s IPO will go ahead as planned, despite initial concerns the investigation could see the float delayed until later this year.
Robinhood floats imminent
Despite the regulatory hiccups, Robinhood priced its IPO between US$38-US$42 per share, giving the platform the US$35bn valuation and analysts predict the firm’s debut on the Nasdaq could occur as early as next week.
Robinhood democratising investment
Launched in 2013 by Tenev and Bhatt, who were Stanford University roommates, Robinhood’s founders will retain most of the voting rights after the IPO. Bhatt reportedly holds 39% of the voting power of outstanding stock, while Tenev holds 26.2%.
The online brokerage, which came under fire for its handling of the GameStop trading debacle, which saw the platform limit stocks to investors, states its mission is to “democratise” investing and is one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of the year.
Robinhood was valued at $11.7bn in autumn 2020 following a private equity funding drive. The new valuation will mean represent a three-fold increase in the company’s market value in less than 12 months.