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."