Klarna’s financial glow-up is my favorite story in tech right now

Klarna’s financial glow-up is my favorite story in tech right now

Klarna’s Q3 2023 results are the latest in a growing list of evidence that the Swedish fintech giant is evolving from a loss-making unicorn to a durable company ready for the public markets.


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It wasn’t that long ago that Klarna had its valuation slashed by around 85%. At the time, the repricing made its ascent seem a bit specious, putting a question mark on the company’s value.

How quickly things change. While Klarna’s numbers looked like standard unicorn fare in late 2022 (replete with unappetizing losses), the company managed to post stronger results as the year went along, masked somewhat by its full-year metrics.

That spate of good news continued this year, with the company reporting improving credit results and even a profitable month. And it seems that after laying off staff and working to control costs, the good-news train is still rolling along at the company.

Today, we’re diving deep into Klarna’s Q3 results with a focus on its return to profitability. If you care about buy now, pay later (BNPL) as a category, e-commerce, or even just fintech writ large, you need to understand how Klarna is performing. To work!

An improving story

In the third quarter, Klarna reported revenue of 6 billion Krona ($549.9 million), up about 30% from 4.6 billion Krona ($421.6 million) in the third quarter of 2022. The company also reported an operating result of 130 million Krona ($11.9 million), a massive improvement on the 2.12 billion Krona ($192.6 million) loss a year ago. (All currency conversions use current SEK-USD values.)

How did the company manage to both increase revenue and swing to profitability in just one year? Several efforts culminated in the improved numbers we see above:

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