Spotify filed initial public offering papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 28, 2018, seeking to raise $1 billion and become a publicly traded company. The music streaming service will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SPOT. Unlike most technology companies that launched IPOs before it, the company is eschewing Wall Street underwriters and looking to list directly. (See more: Spotify Files for $1 Billion IPO.)
Here’s a look at the top six Spotify shareholders:
Daniel Ek: Co-founder and Chief Executive
The public face of the music streaming service, 35-year-old Ek is one of the largest shareholders in the company with close to 47 million shares or 25% of the company’s stock. Excluding warrants, Ek owns around 9% of the music company.
Ek is a serial entrepreneur who is no stranger to riches. The Swedish businessman started his first company at 14, was rejected for a job by Google at age 16 and as a result created his own search engine. He started Advertigo, which was acquired by Tradedoubler. Ek was also the CEO of uTorrent, the file-sharing platform and held roles as CTO at Stardoll and Jajja Communications. (See also, Apple Music Challenges Spotify Ahead of IPO.)
Martin Lorentzon: Co-founder, Director and Former Chairman
Coming in second in terms of shares is Lorentzon, who co-founded Spotify with Ek. According to its filing with the SEC, the 48-year-old executive owns slightly less than 24 million shares, giving him a 13% stake in the company. Without warrants it's around 12%. His first interaction with Ek was when Lorentzon’s Tradedoubler, the biggest affiliate sales network in Europe, acquired Advertigo in 2006. Prior to Tradedoubler, Lorentzon had executive jobs at Telia, Altavista, Cell Ventures and NetStrategy, according to a Bloomberg profile. In October of 2016, he stepped down as chairman which was seen at the time as a move to prepare the company for an IPO.
Tencent Music Entertainment
Tencent Music Entertainment (TME), the streaming unit of China's Tencent (TCEHY), is the company’s third-largest shareholder with a 7.5% stake thanks to a stock swap deal with Spotify late last year. Tencent is planning to spin off TME next year.
Tiger Global Management
Spotify doesn’t only have the backing of the music industry, but it has heavy hitter supporters in the investment and technology world. One of those investors is Tiger Globe, one of the largest hedge funds in the world and an earlier investor in Facebook (FB). Tiger Global owns 12.2 million shares of the streaming music service, which translates to a 6.9% stake and places it in fourth place.
Sony Music Entertainment International (SNE)
Spotify is only good as the music it streams, which is why the music industry has been an important partner of the Swedish company. It's also why Sony Music Entertainment International (SNE) is its fifth-largest shareholder with slightly more than 10 million shares or a 5.7% stake. As part of its investment, it gets royalties from letting Spotify access its massive music catalog and stands to make a lot of money if the IPO is successful.
Technology Crossover Ventures
Technology Crossover Ventures owns 9.6 million shares of Spotify, which gives it a 5.4% stake in the company. The venture capital firm has also invested in Facebook, Netflix (NFLX), music distribution company Believe Digital and event ticket marketplace SeatGeek.