“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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Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens
The Series C round raised US$100m in capital from a number of backers, including Coatue, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, actor Jared Leto, and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, for the enterprise.
Step provides a free FDIC-insured bank account and Visa card to teenagers. The accounts are backed by Evolve Bank and there is no subscription charge for its usage. Users don’t pay for their accounts and there are also no overdraft fees.
The mobile banking app enables parents to set controls and limits on spending and encourage responsible finances. According to data released by the company, 88% of the platform’s users say this is their first bank account.
To date, Step has seen great success in the marketplace. The company has raised more than $175m from investors and now has 1.5m users.
Stripe, which was founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, previously led Step’s $22.5m Series A round in 2019.
Step's Series B funding round also brought in $50m, and has a distinctly celeb-tinged reputation with investors including Justin Timberlake and the pop duo The Chainsmokers.
Users get access to a free, FDIC-backed bank account, a spending card and P2P payments platform to send and receive money instantly.
CJ MacDonald, chief executive of Step, said the company is aiming to improve the financial futures of the next generation. “Step is the only banking platform that enables teens to start building a positive credit history before they turn 18 and does not charge fees of any kind.
He has previously spoken about the importance of financial literacy for young people. “Money is just one of those things where I think the more educated and equipped you are early, the better decisions you can make down the road,” he told . “And you can also prevent yourself from making costly mistakes. I mean, the average American doesn't have $400 in emergency savings and pays $350 a year in banking fees. If we can help this next generation just ultimately be smarter and more educated as it pertains to money, I think we'll all be better off.”
Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst and Step board member, explained, “Gen Z is flocking to modern financial solutions that can be easily embedded within their digital lives and Step has a unique model for how to do this right.”
The news follows on from Stripe’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire TaxJar. The fintech, which builds software for online businesses that automates the reporting and filing of sales taxes, will most likely be integrated with Stripe’s billing services.
Currently, No terms have been disclosed but the Boston start-up had raised more than $60m from investors including Insight Partners.
Stripe chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara said of the move, “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and make it easier for them to sell internationally.”