Spotify CEO to speculate over $1 billion for ‘moonshot’ bets in Europe
Toru Yamanaka | AFP/Getty Photos
Talking at a digital speak hosted by start-up occasion organizer Slush, Ek mentioned he would use the funds to make “moonshot” bets within the continent, specializing in deep know-how — new instruments which can be targeted on scientific innovation. Among the many sectors Ek is trying to put money into are well being, training, machine studying and biotechnology.
“I need to do my half; everyone knows that one of many biggest challenges is entry to capital,” Ek mentioned, including he wished to realize a “new European dream” — akin to that of the American Dream — over the following decade.
In keeping with Forbes, Ek is price $3.6 billion, indicating he is earmarking roughly a 3rd of his personal wealth for the investments.
“I get actually annoyed once I see European entrepreneurs giving up on their superb visions promoting early on to non-European corporations, or when among the most promising tech expertise in Europe leaves as a result of they do not really feel valued right here,” Ek mentioned. “We want extra tremendous corporations that elevate the bar and may act as an inspiration.”
Europe is commonly seen as lagging the U.S. and China with respect to know-how. Whereas these two financial powerhouses have produced among the world’s largest tech corporations — Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent and Alibaba, to call a couple of — Europe is but to supply an analogous scale of success within the business.
Final yr, a document $34.3 billion flowed into Europe’s fledgling tech start-ups, in accordance with figures from enterprise capital agency Atomico. Firms within the area have continued to boost substantial sums of money this yr, with “purchase now, pay later” service Klarna elevating $650 million and digital banking app Revolut securing $580 million in recent funds.
Ek mentioned he’ll work with scientists, buyers, and governments to make his investments. A $1.2 billion fund would see the Spotify founder competing with well-established enterprise funds like Atomico — itself based by former Skype CEO Niklas Zennström — Balderton Capital and Northzone.
One other subject within the area’s tech ecosystem has been preliminary public choices. Spotify, which is predicated in Stockholm, Sweden, listed in New York over two years in the past, whereas London-based on-line luxurious market Farfetch additionally selected America for its market debut. Europe has lagged behind by way of tech IPOs this yr, whereas a raft of software program corporations are going public within the U.S.