Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer and co-founder of Spotify AB
Despite Spotify’s shares coming off their initial highs Tuesday, Ek’s 9 percent stake in the company has soared in value over the past week. It’s now worth $2.3 billion.
Co-founder Martin Lorentzon is now worth more than $3 billion. Spotify’s total valuation hit a high of $30.5 billion but has now settled back to around $26 billion.
Despite his newfound paper fortune, Ek isn’t likely to go on a Ferrari or yacht-buying binge. Ek, 35, started his first tech company when he was 14, and made his first fortune when he was 23, after selling his online ad company Advertigo. After the sale, he enjoyed the usual sudden-wealth-syndrome excesses — he bought a Ferrari, partied and went to nightclubs in Stockholm in his native Sweden.
But all the money and gold diggers left him depressed. As he told the New Yorker: “I had always wanted to belong and I had been thinking that this was going to get solved when I had money, and instead I had no idea how I wanted to live my life.”
So he moved to a small cabin outside Stockholm and after he and his pal Lorentzon were talking about music, they eventually came up with the idea for their music streaming service.
Now he will join the roughly 60 billionaires in the world under the age of 40. Ek leads a low-key life: he doesn’t receive a base salary but is eligible for $1 million annual bonuses depending on the company’s growth. According to The Wall Street Journal, he splits his time between Stockholm and New York and is often spotted with his two kids at the playground.