ASAP Rocky seems to have picked up how to make some big money moves from “the love of [his] life,” Rihanna. On June 1, Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) became CEO of the Swiss company Klarna. His tenure was only 24 hours long, though, and the move was made to announce he had become the newest investor in Europe’s largest privately held fintech giant.
“Klarna is a company that looks ahead and challenges the status quo, which makes partnering with them so appealing to me,” Rocky told the press. “I’m excited to begin working with Klarna in a number of ways, including jointly creating a space for people to rediscover style as we emerge from a global fashion hibernation.”
Klarna was recently valuated at $31 billion and looks poised for more growth, having enjoyed a 37% revenue increase – to the sound of $1.2 billion – from 2019 through 2020. The financial services firm, whose list of competitors include other online installment lenders such as Affirm and Paypal Credit, also counts hip-hop great Snoop Dogg among its list of celebrity investors.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Klarna co-founder and CEO, spoke highly of his one-day replacement in Lord Flacko. “ASAP Rocky defies categorization,” he said in a statement. “[A] musician, actor, philanthropist, an opinion leader in style and fundamentally someone who understands what the public wants from so many vantage points.
Rocky was motivated to join the company based on how he saw people from his native Harlem struggle with money. “It’s a radical way to approach the crediting system,” he said, per Forbes. “It helps people with financial literacy… There’s no system that helps us deal with things when it comes to student loans, the IRS, banking or credit.”
A company rep explained that buyers are rarely charged interest on purchases, and users can be blocked from the app until outstanding balances are paid. Rocky sees Klarna as a firm that provides the average consumer with a “layaway plan” but, therefore, with a broader scope.
“He challenges the status quo each day. As the consumer experience in retail now demands discovery, curation and sustainability, we at Klarna have a lot to learn from him,” Siemiatkowski said in praise of Rocky. “Besides,” he added, “after 16 years since founding Klarna, I think I deserve a day off.”