Klarna, Europe’s biggest privately held fintech company, has gotten a stylish new investor and temporary CEO, A$AP Rocky.
As per Forbes, on Tuesday, the global payments provider and showing service announced that Rocky had become a shareholder and – for one day only –would take on the role of CEO. As part of his short-term CEO duties, Rocky will “renounce the global fashion hibernation” that dominated 2020 while inviting everyone to “rediscover the joy of getting dressed.” He will also use his expertise and experience within the fashion industry to curate content for Klarna’s smartphone app.
The Sweden-based e-commerce payment solutions platform currently boasts a $31 billion valuation. Having partnered with global merchants like Nike, Amazon, and Sephora, Klarna is most well-known for its “buy now, pay later” model – offering shoppers interest-free financing on retail purchases over a period of instalments.
“It’s a radical way to approach the crediting system,” says Rocky. “It helps people with financial literacy.” The rapper claims he was motivated to invest in the company based on his own experiences growing up in Harlem and understanding the difficulties of making payments for people from low-income backgrounds, describing Klarna as a “layaway plan” at a global scale.
“You’re setting yourself up for financial debt,” he says. “There’s no system that helps us deal with things when it comes to student loans, the IRS, banking or credit.”
A$AP Rocky has always held the need for performers to invest and make wealth outside of music. In a 2018 interview with Esquire, he explained: “Statistically, a rapper’s career lasts two to four years. I’m three years past that mark. I’m not dependent on music or fashion or acting, they all come together. I’m not one of those rappers who gets money and fucks it up. All my money goes to developing some kind of product or invention, or it’s for music or film. Look at me, I’m not frivolous. I don’t buy clothes. I get them at my favourite price — free 99… I do buy jewellery… But then I tell myself, 'Hey, I’m a rapper!'"
This Klarna investment is also a new chapter in what Rocky describes as the “funny history” between himself and Sweden. In 2019, he was arrested in Sweden and was held for nearly a month in pre-trial detention, sparking international outrage. Now, he's reclaiming his relationship with Sweden as an investor in one of the country’s most significant companies. That's what we call winning.