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Daniel Ek will invest over $1 billion in European moonshots

 Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

"Europe needs to raise its ambition," says Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.

Image: Spotify

At an event hosted by Slush, the Spotify CEO said: "I will devote €1 billion of my personal resources to enable the ecosystem of builders to achieve [the] European dream over the next decade."

"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, investors, and governments to do so," he added. The pledge came after Ek explained his desire to see more big European companies, saying "Europe needs to raise its ambition."

When questioned on which areas he'll be investing in, Ek highlighted health care, education, machine learning, biotechnology, material sciences and energy. "The types of moonshots that I'm talking about, at least when I talk to the scientists and the entrepreneurs, they often face no [funding] options, because these ideas may be too early to bring in venture capital," he said, "so I definitely think we can do a lot more for those types of opportunities here."

Ek said he'd build out a team to invest the money, and wants to "work together with the community" to source companies. "The real success for me is that Europe has more super companies," he said, "and ideally ones that make a positive dent in the world by tackling some of the big challenges."

Martin Cooper with his original DynaTAC cell phone.

Photo: Ted Soqui/Getty Images

Martin Cooper helped invent one of the most consequential and successful products in history: the cell phone. And almost five decades after he made the first public cell phone call, on a 2-pound brick of a device called the DynaTAC, he's written a book about his career called "Cutting the Cord: The Cell Phone has Transformed Humanity." In it he tells the story of the cell phone's invention, and looks at how it has changed the world and will continue to do so.

Cooper came on the Source Code Podcast to talk about his time at Motorola, the process of designing the first-ever cell phone, whether today's tech giants are monopolies, and why he's bullish on the future of AI.

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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