Spotify Technology SA co-founder Daniel Ek will invest 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of his personal assets to fund early-stage European startups.
Ek said the funding would go to so-called moonshots – projects at too early a stage to draw venture capital funding to support Europe’s tech ecosystem.
“We all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital,” Ek said on a Slush tech conference webinar. “That is why I’m sharing today that I will devote 1 billion euros of my personal resources to achieve this European dream over the next decade.”
Spotify is seen as one of the few major tech successes in Europe. Ek co-founded the music-streaming company in 2006 and it’s grown to have 299 million active monthly users. It went public in 2018 and now has a market value of around $43 billion, though it is still unprofitable.
Ek is worth about $3.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 biggest fortunes. His previous investments include Swedish digital healthcare firm Kry and student.com, an online marketplace for international student housing.
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Earlier Thursday, Spotify joined with Match Group Inc., Epic Games Inc. and 10 other organizations to launch the Coalition for App Fairness to push Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to change their app store rules.
Spotify has complained that Apple’s app store takes a 30% cut for most apps and subscriptions. A complaint is filed to the European Union led the bloc’s antitrust watchdog to open a probe into the iPhone maker in June.