LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04: Chloe Lewis and Laura Anderson attend the official launch of the Klarna Pop-Up on June 04, 2019 in London, England.
Klarna's business model allows customers to spread the cost of a purchase over four payments.
David M. Benett/Getty Images

Sweden's widely successful buy-now-pay-later startup Klarna has its sites set on dominating the US.

In an interview with Quartz, Klarna's CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski discussed plans for a possible IPO and growth in the US.

"It's mind-blowing to see the growth there," he said of the US, adding that this is set to become its biggest market in the coming months. "We're now onboarding over a thousand merchants on a monthly basis in the US" and the company has 60 million active users there," he said.

Quartz writer John Detrixhe also referenced one of Siemiatkowski's recent tweets, Klarna had grown so quickly during the pandemic that it no longer fitted inside its New York office, which temporarily shuttered during the lockdown.

Klarna has over 6,000 retail partners in the US and more than 200,000 globally, including H&M, Nike, and Peloton. It counts Afterpay and Affirm as its main competitors.

Read more: Inside the explosion of buy-now, pay-later services like Klarna, as regulators move to legislate a potentially $350 billion industry

Until now its focus has been on partnering with larger brands but it's beginning to shift to smaller businesses too, according to Siemiatkowski.

The buy-now-pay-later model allows customers to spread the cost of a purchase over four payments. This model has raised concerns among critics and regulators who said it is encouraging young people to spend beyond their means and get into debt.

But Siemiatkowski said it's an alternative to a credit card that's available to all.

"A lot of people that are using credit cards and are – by the way – living off the means of other people who are revolving… they're actually forgetting that a lot of people today don't have access to these products, and other people have taken an active choice not to participate in those products.

"And that means that they see the benefit of using buy-now-pay-later. And that's why they're rewarding merchants who are offering that," he said.

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