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Klarna plans to lay off 10% of its workforce

As Klarna cuts jobs, rival fintech companies say they’re recruiting for hundreds of roles.

Revolut, the $33 billion digital banking start-up, said the company is “actively hiring,” with over 250 open roles listed on its website.

Read also: Anne Boden, CEO Starling, chairs taskforce to boost female entrepreneurs

Meanwhile, Wise CEO Kristo Kaarmann said the London-based money transfer firm is in a “different place” to tech firms that are letting staff go. “Years of building Wise as a profitable long-term company is paying off now,” Kaarmann tweeted Wednesday.

Dutch fintech Mollie has hired one of Europe’s most prominent chief technology officers, after poaching Koen Köppen from Klarna.

The move by Klarna, which is chaired by Sequoia Capital’s Sir Michael Moritz, to cut spending came as the Silicon Valley venture capital firm issued a bleak memo on the global economy to its portfolio companies.

The memo, which was first reported by The Information, called for founders to conserve capital in order to avoid a “death spiral” in what could be a prolonged downturn.

Klarna has also faced competition from a new crop of buy now, pay later operators in Europe and listed rivals Affirm, PayPal, and Block Inc in the United States. Competitors described Klarna’s pricing of deals with some major retailers to ensure exclusivity as “irrational,” while some current and former staff have voiced concern about the deals.

A prolonged battle with Sweden’s unions over redundancies could also add to the pain for Klarna. A spokesperson for the company said it hoped to reach an agreement with the employees involved but should a redundancy occur it would follow local laws.

“They are leveraging the fact that most people don’t understand Swedish labor law and most international employees think they are being let go and will take the severance package even they don’t have to,” says another Klarna staff member.

The upheaval at Sweden’s star startup, which only recently surpassed local rival Spotify in valuation, and in the public markets is likely to stall the on-off rumors of Klarna’s plans for a public listing.

“We’ll probably continue being private for a little more time. It’s always a question of: the more great long-term investors we can attract, the bigger our appetite to stay longer private,” says Siemiatkowski in an interview with the Financial Times.

Jan Cerny
Jan is an innovation enthusiast and Fintech news reporter. He specializes in news distribution, social media, and content analysis.

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