Daniel Ek is looking beyond Spotify
Ek wants to be at the forefront of Europe’s early-stage tech scene and is hunting for ways to make an impact on the broader sphere of innovation
Daniel Ek is looking beyond Spotify Technology .
His venture capital firm, Prima Materia, has invested in a green-steel start-up as well as in funds focused on artificial intelligence, life sciences and climate. Ek’s company, which started operating in February 2021, also allocated €100m ($113.5m) to German security firm Helsing in November — all part of Ek’s plan to put about $1bn of his wealth in European start-ups.
Spotify’s 38-year-old co-founder and CEO , who has recently been caught in a public relations maelstrom involving podcast host Joe Rogan, wants to be at the forefront of the region’s early-stage tech scene and is hunting for ways to make an impact on the broader sphere of innovation. He has a net worth of about $2.6bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“The ambition is truly insane,” Ek told “The Twenty Minute VC” podcast last year.
A representative for Prima Materia declined to comment.
Ek created Prima Materia — a term from alchemy and philosophy meaning “first matter” — with Spotify investor Shakil Khan. He announced his intention to put about a third of his current net worth in European start-ups in September 2020, when he invested in battery maker Northvolt .
Prima Materia hired Pia Michel from BlueYard Capital last year to head science translation and Brett Bivens for research. The firm was registered in Ek’s native Sweden in late 2020 and now has six other local entities for its investments, according to filings.
Outside of Prima Materia, Ek owns real estate and holds a stake in Swedish machine-learning start-up HJN Sverige. He also made an attempt last year to buy London’s Arsenal Football Club.
Ek’s Spotify holding still makes up the bulk of his fortune. The company’s shares hit a peak in early 2021, soon after Rogan’s podcast became exclusively available on the platform. They’ve slumped 56% since then amid a slowdown in growth and a rout in tech stocks.
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