Spotify CEO Commits $1B To Aid Europe In Fight Against Silicon Valley Selfishness

Spotify Technologies SA SPOT CEO Daniel Ek wants to give nascent European technology start-ups a boost so that they can grow up to compete with Silicon Valley leviathans, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

What Happened: Ek, whose wealth is estimated to be around $3.8 billion, plans to allocate nearly $1.1 billion over the next ten years to boost early-stage “moonshots” that may not typically find funding from venture capital firms, according to the FT.

The areas of interest to the CEO reportedly include machine learning, biotechnology, and materials science.

“We’re still, by an order of two or three, underfunding for each and every stage in Europe compared to American [venture capital] companies,” Ek said at the Slush technology conference Thursday.

The Swedish executive also touched upon the cultural differences between the two regions saying the “European dream,” unlike the U.S. version, was focussed more on “better future for the collective, not just the individual.”

Why It Matters: European start-ups raised $7.3 billion in 843 deals, while Asian and U.S. start-ups raised double and quadruple that amount respectively, the FT noted, citing CB Insights data.

Sweden reportedly has only three startups valued at more than $1 billion, which include payments firm Kara, alternative-milk company Oatly and battery maker Northvolt, as per CB insights.

Spotify has been critical of Apple Inc AAPL who the latter alleged was abusing its dominant position to “disadvantage competitors.”

The music streaming platform has joined a Brussels-based non-profit coalition for App Fairness, which advocates legal changes to the way the Tim Cook-led company conducts business at its marketplace.

Spotify is also mired in an antitrust legal battle against the Cupertino-based tech giant in Europe.

Price Action: Spotify shares closed nearly 1.6% lower at $231.26 on Thursday and gained almost 0.5% in the after-hours session.

Posted In: NewsFinancingGlobalTechMediaDaniel EkEuropeEuropean UnionSilicon Valleytech startupsThe Financial Times