LONDON, England — Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, has acquired HERO, a social shopping platform designed to provide consumers with inspiration, advice and immediately shoppable content produced directly from retailers’ physical stores.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna commented: “Immersive shopping experiences are now expected by consumers when shopping online and forward-thinking brands want to provide consumers with a rich, interactive way to shop for their products. With HERO we share an ambition to elevate the shopping experience through the convergence of online and in-store shopping experiences, supporting retailers to inform and engage consumers in new ways. We see a huge opportunity to leverage HERO’s existing platform and expertise to allow in-store retail professionals to become global brand ambassadors. This will unlock growth for retailers by creating a new hybrid shopping experience that enables consumers to make informed purchasing decisions as part of an engaging and personalised shopping journey.”
Klarna will introduce HERO to its 250,000 retail partners, allowing their in-store teams to become content creators instantly, offering reviews, real-time advice and richer, more engaging and informative content around products to bring the best of in-store shopping to the online experience for consumers.
HERO, based in London and New York, was founded in 2015 to create a more personal and convenient way to shop that reflects how consumers interact today, bringing the concept of in-person customer service to e-commerce. HERO’s client roster now includes global brands such as Levi, rag & bone, Chloé, Harvey Nichols and shares a number of retail partners with Klarna’s existing network such as Nike and JD Sports. All 100+ HERO employees will join Klarna.
Adam Levene, Founder at HERO said: “Klarna is a company we’ve long admired. They have built an iconic brand and proposition, and a unique culture that makes it the perfect home for our team. By joining forces we are able to bring our technology to even more merchants and consumers across the world, making online shopping more social, interactive and ultimately more human.”
Available from the merchant’s website, HERO connects online shoppers with in-store product experts to provide inspiration and advice via messaging, video chat and social-style content at the click of the button.
The moves comes after Klarna raised $639 million in equity funds in June led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Klarna has a $45.6 billion valuation and remains the highest-valued private fintech in Europe and the second-highest worldwide.