Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna is in talks with investors on raising money at $10bn valuation, according to reports by Reuters.

The deal would see the buy-now-pay-later lender nearly double its existing valuation of $5.5bn, which it secured after raising funds last year. At $5.5bn the company was already the most valuable privately-held fintech startup in Europe alongside the digital bank Revolut.

Klarna — which now has over 85m users — has proven unusually resilient to the global pandemic, rapidly expanding its client base during the lockdown as shoppers flocked online and looked for convenient credit.

The company is due to announce its fresh funds in the coming days, which will go to boosting Klarna’s efforts in the United States, sources close to Reuters said. Klarna declined to comment.

After a mammoth $460m fundraise last year, Klarna finally began ramping up its efforts to conquer the US where it first planted its flagpole in the spring of 2015. The company reported it had surpassed 2m US downloads by December 2019 after a series of hiccups in the preceding years.

According to Di Digital, Klarna’s goal was to show around €100m of revenue in the US in 2017 but didn’t reach a fraction of that. That year, Klara also laid off half its American workforce.

Its push for hyper-growth in the US has also proven a drain on its financials, landing Klarna in the red for the first time in its history, according to the company’s 2019 annual report.

Indeed, the lender went from a profit of $10m in 2018 to a loss of $93m last year — the first time the company has been in the red since launching in 2005.

Still, Klarna is preparing to go public on the US stock exchange in the next two years, Reuters noted.

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