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Spotify CEO has decided to invest his personal wealth into Europe’s tech startup in order to change the narrative of tech advancements in the region.
Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Daniel Ek has revealed his intentions on Thursday to invest about 1 billion euros of his own money into tech startups in the European Economic Area. Spotify CEO made this known speaking at a virtual talk hosted by start-up event organizer Slush, noting that access to capital is one of the greatest banes of startups and that he would do his best to use the funds to make ‘moonshot’ bets in the region.
“We all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital. And that is why I’m sharing today that I will devote €1bn of my personal resources to enable the ecosystem of builders,” explained he. He said he would do this by “funding so-called moonshots focusing on the deep technology necessary to make a significant positive dent and work with scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and governments to do so.”
The pledge will also be used in curbing the exodus of tech startups and companies as Europe is largely adjudged to be behind its peers in technological advancements.
“I get really frustrated when I see European entrepreneurs giving up on their amazing visions selling early on to non-European companies, or when some of the most promising tech talents in Europe leaves because they don’t feel valued here,” Spotify CEO said. “We need more super companies that raise the bar and can act as an inspiration…There’s lots and lots of really exciting areas where there are tons of scientists and entrepreneurs right now around Europe,” added he.
Ek indicated that the majority of the moonshot bets he’d be making will be in areas ranging from Artificial intelligence to biotechnology, material science, and health startups. Ek’s commitment to deep tech can be traced to his prior investment in Swedish Telemedicine startup Kry where he invested €16m, as well as HJN Sverige, an artificial intelligence company in the health tech arena that got about €3m of Ek’s personal funds.
According to Forbes, the Spotify CEO is currently worth about $3.6 billion, and should the 37-year-old techpreneur make good on his words, he would be making the investment with about a third of his current networth.
Spotify CEO Seeks to Create a New Order in Europe
The move by Ek which he hopes to partner with the government, scientists, and investors is geared at changing the narrative for European tech startups. While the United States of America boasts of such big tech names as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), and China has the likes of Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0700) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HKG: 9988), Europe has no big name to match up with this. With the proposed funds and laid down strategy, Ek hopes to make the difference in the coming years.