Swedish e-commerce company Klarna that provides payment services for online storefronts has entered the U.S. market. The core service of the company, founded in 2005, is to assume stores' claims for payments and handle customer payments, thus eliminating the risk for seller and buyer.
The password-free service enables "one-click" impulse shopping and immediate payments for merchants. Users don't have to create an account or type in credit card details when checking out in an online store using Klarna, entering instead as little as an email address and zip code to settle the bill while having the option of paying Klarna later, as with a normal credit card. Klarna runs a quick check using its algorithms and the data it has built up over a decade, and then, if approved, it pays merchants instantly and bills customers for settlement later.
By assuming the risk on customer payments, Klarna aims to create higher conversions for merchants and payment flexibility for the customer.
Klarna's entry into the U.S. market is seen as a direct challenge to online payments giant Paypal. Last year saw the introduction of Stripe in the Nordic countries although with a different service offer than Klarna generally considered another competitor. For more info, see www.klarna.com, www.stripe.com

The company's North American CEO Brian Billingsley will speak at the Entrepreneur's Club of SACC-New York on March 23. For more info and tickets to the event, see Brian Billingsley, CEO, Klarna N.A. at the Entrepreneurs Club
"Unicorn" In the venture capital industry, a unicorn refers to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. Other Swedish companies on the list of unicorns are Spotify, MindMaze.