Frequently Asked Questions
Index of Questions
Why was Prima Materia founded?
We are a European investment company that builds, grows and owns companies for the long term. Prima Materia was created with 1 billion euro of initial funding. We created Prima Materia to enable an ecosystem of European technology builders over the next decade. We are focusing on financing moonshots - working with scientists, engineers, investors and inventors to build some of the deep technology necessary to make a significant positive impact on society.
What is your investment philosophy?
In founding Prima Materia, we wanted to identify society's most difficult problems and to engage the most ambitious teams finding technical solutions for those problems. Our philosophy is centred in the belief that Europe is home to incredible researchers, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. By supporting them we can help drive real progress in areas that matter most to society.
What kind of companies or areas are you looking to invest in?
We are focusing on financing moonshots - working with scientists, engineers, investors and inventors to build some of the deep technology necessary to make a significant positive impact. This covers a wide range of areas including clean energy, AI, healthcare and technology to help democratic institutions provide public services more efficiently. We invest directly in companies and we also participate in focused venture capital funds.
Why did you call it Prima Materia?
In alchemy and philosophy, Prima Materia is the original material out of which all things were created. We see ourselves as providing the source material for creativity and invention.
Who is the team and where are you based?
Our founders are Daniel Ek and Shakil Khan, working with a small team across Europe.
Who are the investors behind Prima Materia?
Prima Materia is an investment company that provides a vehicle to deploy the capital of a number of private individuals. The principal investor is Daniel Ek, who has committed to invest 1 billion euros in European technology start ups. He does this directly and through Prima Materia.
Is there a connection to Spotify?
There is no connection between Spotify and Prima Materia. Daniel Ek is the co-founder of the investment company, which operates independently.
What role does Prima Materia take in the companies and funds it invests in?
We help to build, grow and own companies for the long term. Each investment is structured differently and we tailor the support we offer accordingly. One constant is that we love working closely with the founders to help them achieve their goals.
Does Prima Materia’s investment in Helsing mean it is funding weapons?
No. Prima Materia is focused on finding technical solutions to some of society's most difficult problems by harnessing the incredible talent that exists in Europe. We believe that AI will be an essential capability to protect our democracies and keep us safe. Europe has an opportunity to lead building AI in an ethical, transparent and responsible manner and that is why we have invested in Helsing. Helsing is a software company. Its technology gathers data from multiple sensors on vehicles and systems to directly aid human decision making in security situations, enabling people to process complex and diverse information more reliably and act quickly. It only partners with countries which meet the highest democratic standards and ethical rules for the use of AI. You can find more details about our investments here.
How do you measure the success of your investments?
We have a very long time horizon and are making investments that we know may take many years to come to fruition. With these sorts of investments, we want Europe to live up to its potential and become a true technology maker, not a technology taker. We get frustrated when we see European entrepreneurs giving up on their long-term visions by selling very early in the process, to bigger, non-European companies. Or when some of the most promising tech talent in the world automatically leaves Europe because they don’t feel valued here or because there is no company in Europe that matches their ambition. We will be successful when we see more super companies like these raise the bar and act as inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.