Spotify CEO's advice to startups: 'don't sell'

Daniel ek spotifyAndrew Burton/GettySpotify CEO Daniel Ek.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has no intention of selling his company, and he doesn’t think other rising startup founders should either.

At Symposium Stockholm on Thursday, Ek spoke about the future of Sweden’s tech scene:

What I’m excited about, when it comes to a city like Stockholm, is that we’ve had a couple of exits. We’ve had Minecraft, Skype’s Niklas Zennström, who ended up founding a VC company. So for the first time now there’s an ecosystem around it, with capital and experience that can actually help guide entrepreneurs. One advice I give is don’t sell. That’s the biggest problem we have. All of these things that could have gone gigantic if you had just kept on course, and doing what you were doing. My selfish ambition with Spotify is just to trying to show the path, that we can create one of those super companies here in Europe.

When asked directly if he would sell Spotify, Ek responded, “I’m not going to sell, no,” according to Reuters.

Music streaming startup Spotify had revenues of $2.18 billion in 2015, a growth of 80% year-over-year, according to Music Business Worldwide. Spotify’s losses were $194 million, but its growth slowed, which part of the reason why Spotify said to investors that 2015 was in many ways “our best year ever.”

Many believe Spotify is on its way to an IPO, especially given the terms with which it raised $1 billion in debt financing in March. But some industry analysts also believe it could be an acquisition target for a tech giant, Reuters reports.

Ek, it seems, would rather create a “super company” of his own.

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