Spotify Chief to Pour Personal Wealth into Small European Firms

Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) CEO Daniel Ek announced Thursday that he will commit one billion euros ($1.2 billion U.S.) of his own resources to invest in European startups.

Ek told a virtual conference he would use the funds to make "moonshot" bets in the continent, focusing on deep technology — new tools that are focused on scientific innovation. Among the sectors Ek is looking to invest in are health, education, machine learning and biotechnology.

"I want to do my part; we all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital," Ek said, adding he wanted to achieve a "new European dream" — akin to that of the American Dream — over the next decade.

Forbes pegs Ek’s personal fortune at $3.6 billion, thus, about a third of this money being poured in is his own.

Ek spoke of his frustration with the number of European tech companies being bought up by U.S. rivals, as well as a brain drain of talented entrepreneurs leaving the region for Silicon Valley.

One of the most notable examples of European entrepreneurs heading to the U.S. is payments giant Stripe, whose Irish founders went to California to build their company.

SPOT shares galloped $2.88, or 1.3%, to $234.14.