We recently covered a report published by Index Ventures, which reveals how the European tech ecosystem has matured over time. However, it seems like one of the notable names in the tech industry believes it needs to be developed further. Daniel Ek, the cofounder and CEO of Spotify, says that Europe needs more “super” companies so that the tech ecosystem develops further. However, the entrepreneur is ready to put his money where his mouth is, as he has reportedly pledged investing €1B of his personal wealth in European deeptech startups.
Will to invest heavily in Moonshot projects
The aforementioned promise by Ek to pour a staggering €1B is for helping the European tech ecosystem. Ek apparently stated this during a recent fireside chat at Node by Slush but the video mentioning this was made private soon after. However, Ek also revealed that he will be investing in moonshot projects.
“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,” Ek says during his fireside chat. “And I will do so 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.”
Moonshot projects is a term used to denote startups working on unique, possibly revolutionary solutions. Such companies usually have low chances of generating revenue in the short-term and most of them usually work in the deep tech domain. According to Ek, biotechnology, materials sciences, machine learning, and energy are some of these areas.
Developing Europe’s tech ecosystem further to compete with US
Ek also mentions that Europe can be as great as the US in terms of backing notable companies. However, he isn’t happy that most entrepreneurs are advised to sell out rather than continue with their vision.
“Europe needs more super companies, both for the ecosystem to develop and thrive. But I think more importantly if we’re going to have any chance to tackle the infinitely complex problems that our societies are dealing with at the moment, we need different stakeholders, including companies, governments, academic institutions, nonprofits and investors of all kinds to work together,” says Ek.
He adds, “I get really frustrated when I see European entrepreneurs, giving up on their amazing visions by selling very early in the process… We need more super companies to raise the bar and act as an inspiration.”
This announcement by one of the most notable personalities in the tech domain comes soon after EK purchased a minor €16M stake in the Swedish telemedicine startup Kry, during the healthtech company’s €140M Series C round. Before that, in 2019, he started an AI company called HJN Sverige with the Swedish entrepreneur Hjalmar Nilsonne. EK has invested about €3M in his startup, which aims to develop solutions to detect diseases earlier, when they are easier to cure.
Image credits: Spotify