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Klarna adds AI-driven photo feature to entice shoppers

Swedish payments group Klarna has launched a new AI-driven shopping feature, developed with OpenAI tech, that allows people to shop by taking a photo of products they like which then become available to buy in seconds on the company’s mobile app.

Many start-up companies like Klarna are adding AI to their product portfolio to boost valuations as they wait for their turn to hit the public markets through an initial public offering.

Klarna’s new feature can identify more than 10 million items such as clothes, home decor or electronics, and compare prices, retailers and reviews, chief marketing officer David Sandstrom said in an interview on Wednesday.

To prevent any privacy issues, Klarna’s AI does not allow images of people’s faces or bodies to appear, he said.

Google’s Lens tool also has search features that allow the mixing of photos and text in searches.

“The thing that differentiates us from Google is that our lens is purposefully built for shopping … we do not want people to take images of random things, but rather only products they want to buy,” Sandstrom said.

The shopping lens is available to consumers in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, Klarna said.

Klarna, once Europe’s most valuable startup, allows shoppers to buy online through its merchant partners and pay in installments using its “buy now, pay later” service. Its valuation has fallen sharply, but the company said in August it had reached profitability on a monthly basis ahead of target.

  • Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm. Editing by Jane Merriman, of Reuters.
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