Klarna Acquires HERO To Make Shopping ‘More Human’ For Its 90 Million Customers

The devastating impact of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown have changed the behavior patterns of people across the globe. Recently, a United Nations-backed study examined how the global crisis has impacted the way people use e-commerce and other digital tools, with more than half of respondents reporting they now shop online more frequently. The survey, entitled “COVID-19 and e-Commerce,” further revealed that these changes will have lasting effects as the world begins to rebound. With online shopping accounting for more and more sales, forward-looking businesses are scrambling to personalize the digital experience for their customers.

Klarna, the Swedish payments giant, has announced its acquisition of HERO, a pioneer of virtual shopping. This move could significantly help Klarna strengthen merchant relationships. Based in London and New York, HERO was founded in 2015 to create a "more personal and convenient way" to shop online. The HERO platform facilitates this interaction through messaging, videos, and chat rooms to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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As part of the deal, Klarna's 250,000 retail partners will gain access to HERO, allowing their in-store teams to become content creators instantly. By leveraging HERO's existing platform and expertise, Klarna plans to enhance the online shopping experience for its 90 million international customers. Also, with this acquisition, HERO’s existing products will be immediately available to Klarna’s retail partners, and all 100+ HERO employees will be absorbed by Klarna.