Business

Rapper Snoop Dogg backs Swedish online payments company

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg

Sweden’s Klarna Bank has turned to Snoop Dogg to promote its online payment services and the U.S. rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, has also invested in the financial technology startup.

In a video posted on YouTube Thursday, the 47-year-old artist is renamed Smoooth Dogg, a reference to Klarna’s ambition to enable “smoooth” payments. Snoop Dogg has also become “a minor” shareholder in the company, Klarna said in emailed comments.

Klarna, which helps online shoppers arrange for financing at the point of sale with a few clicks, is one of a myriad of upstarts that are challenging companies such as PayPal Holdings, Square and Adyen with their own twist on facilitating commerce between merchants and shoppers.

Klarna was founded in Sweden in 2005 and has expanded to 14 countries, with more than 100,000 merchants using its payment solutions for online and in-store purchases. It was valued at $2.25 billion in 2015 when a group of insiders sold shares privately, making it one of Europe’s tech unicorns, or private companies valued at more than $1 billion.

Forbes first reported the rapper’s investment in the Swedish startup. Snoop Dogg’s venture firm Casa Verde Capital has previously invested mainly in cannabis-industry companies such as weed-delivery service Dutchie, and pharmaceutical company Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.

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