Really, this market isn’t good enough?

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It’s the first day of Disrupt, so things are a bit busy here at TechCrunch. In honor of that fact, entries from The Exchange concerning NFT volume viz recent marketplace valuations and how an accelerating pace of change helps startups by exposing more market voids will have to wait.

But we do have time this morning for a little incredulity, so let’s indulge.


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CNBC reported today that Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski is not enthused about present-day market conditions, and thus isn’t in a hurry to take his company public.

There’s some merit to the idea; after all, Klarna has shown a strong ability to raise huge sums of capital while private.

Why not just keep at it? In short, because the company has to either go public or sell itself to a larger company at some point. Given that we’ve already seen PayPal and Square cut checks to buy BNPL volume, the list of potential acquirers for Klarna is not as long as you might think. The company, flush with billions in private-market funding, will need to go public. It’s a simple question of when. 

Which makes the following all the more surprising. Via CNBC:

“The volatility in the market right now makes me nervous to IPO to be honest,” Siemiatkowski told CNBC’s Karen Tso at the London Tech Week conference on Monday. “I think it would be nice to IPO when it’s a little bit more sound. And right now it doesn’t feel really sound out there.”

Huh. Color us confused.

The public market for BNPL companies actually feels pretty damn strong at the moment.

Affirm, for example, is a BNPL company publicly listed in the United States. In Q2 2021 (Q4 fiscal 2021 for the company), Affirm reported gross merchandise volume of $2.5 billion, and revenues of $261.8 million. Those figures were up 106% and 71%, respectively. Affirm also posted a net loss of $128.2 million in the quarter, and $430.9 million in red ink during its most recent fiscal year (the 12 months ending June 30, 2021).

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