Martin Lorentzon

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Martin Lorentzon
Born (1969-04-01) 1 April 1969 (age 52)
EducationGothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law
Stockholm School of Economics
Stockholm University
Alma materChalmers University of Technology
Known forCo-founder of Tradedoubler and Spotify
Board member ofSpotify

Sven Hans Martin Lorentzon (pronounced [ˈmǎʈːɪn ˈlôːrɛnˌsɔn]; born 1 April 1969) is a Swedish entrepreneur and co-founder of Tradedoubler and Spotify.[2] From 2013 to 2018 he was on the board of Telia Company. Since April 2019 he has been an expert on Sweden's immigrants' integration issues for the Moderate Party commission New Swedish Model.


As a student at the Särlaskolan primary school in Borås, Lorentzon told classmates that he wanted to sell one matchbox to every Chinese person and become a billionaire.[3] In high school he attended the technical department of Sven Eriksonsgymnasiet, where he liked to go to parties but always put education first: if there was a party before a test he would lie that he was sick and would have to stay home.[4]

In 1990 Lorentzon began his studies at the Chalmers University of Technology where he studied industrial economics and later finished with a master of science and engineering degree.[5] He attended economics courses at the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law. Lorentzon also studied economics at the Stockholm School of Economics and took courses in rhetoric and argumentation at Stockholm University.[5]

In 1995 Lorentzon started an internship at a telephone company, Telia.[4] He moved to San Francisco and worked in the AltaVista office there. In Silicon Valley he met skilled web entrepreneurs and found a job at a investment company called Cell Ventures, where he met Felix Hagnö, the son of the owners of a Swedish clothing line called Joy.[4] In September 1999 Lorentzon and Hagnö founded Netstrategy, which would later become the leading European marketplace Tradedoubler.[6] The company soon became commercially profitable and socially acclaimed: in 2001 it won the Swedish Guldmusen prize for "IT-rookie of the Year",[7][8] the Swedish Trade Council in the United Kingdom prize "Achievement Award" in 2002 for Swedish companies that have been the most successful in the UK over the past year,[9] and the Swedish "Export Hermes" prize in 2004 for the best Swedish exporting company.[10] Lorentzon then moved to Germany. Web sales peaked and in 2005 he sold his Tradedoubler option for US$70 million. He admitted the role of luck in this success.[3] Lorentzon moved back to Sweden after ten years abroad. In March 2006 Tradedoubler bought advertising service Advertigo, created by Daniel Ek. Ek and Lorentzon quickly became friends, finding that they had common experiences of depression because of unexpected wealth and a lack of purpose.

From April 2013 — March 2018 Lorentzon served as a member of the board of directors at Telia, where he also owned 230,000 shares.[11]


In April 2006 Ek and Lorentzon decided to start a new company. Lorentzon left the board of Tradedoubler and gave one million euros to Ek. In June 2006 Spotify was registered. Spotify was started as a music streaming service earning its profits from online advertising, a business that they both knew very well.[12]

Lorentzon spent his own money on developers' salaries, offices, and renting music licenses. They tried to attract investor money, but Lorentzon was not satisfied with the terms with which they were offered to cooperate. Because of these unplanned expenses, Lorentzon's share in Spotify turned out to be the largest. His option was estimated at more than US$ 4 billion;[13] he holds 43.3% voting rights[1] and owns 12.7% shares.[14] Hagnö decided to join in his former colleague's venture, and owns 6.6% of the shares worth US$1.5 billion.

Lorentzon was a chief executive officer from 2006 — 2013 and a chairman of board of directors from 2008 — 2016, until Ek took over these roles.[15] In interviews Ek and Lorentzon claim that they are best friends and there has not been a day since 2006 when they did not speak at least once a day. Lorentzon is responsible for developing the company's future goals and development strategy, budget, salaries,[16] verification of legal and annual financial reports.[17]

Political views[]

In 2013 Lorentzon joined Prince Daniel's Fellowship Project, and visits upper secondary schools, universities, and university colleges around Sweden to inspire young people to get involved in entrepreneurship.[18] In 2016 he was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences under the Department of Education and Research, which promotes contact and exchange between business, research, and government entities.[19]

In April 2013, media scrutiny focused on Lorentzon's relationship with the Swedish tax office. Lorentzon's Spotify and Telia-affiliated companies are situated in offshore financial centres: Rosello is registered in Cyprus and Amaltea is in Luxembourg.[20] In 2005, he re-registered TradeDoubler on Cyprus, reducing his tax payment by $9 million.[11] In 2006 he paid 1.4 million euro in taxes.[21] Spotify was also re-registered by that time in Luxembourg, where income tax is lower. According to media reports, Lorentzon owes the Swedish tax office 6 million euro for 2007–2010, during which he filed a zero-income declaration.

In 2014, Lorentzon was named International Swede of the Year,[22] and in 2015, he was awarded the Affärsbragden (The Business Achievement) from the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.[23] In the spring of 2015 Lorentzon was given an honorary doctorate at the Chalmers University of Technology.[24][25]

In April 2019 Lorentzon was assigned an immigrants' integration issues expert in a Moderate Party commission New Swedish Model created by Ulf Kristersson.[26][27][28][29]

Personal life[]

Lorentzon was born on 1 April 1969 in the south of Sweden in the village of Åsenhöga, in the Gnosjö region of Småland province.[4] In February 1970,[30] his family moved to Borås, and he grew up in the Hestra quarter.[31] His mother, Brita (born 21 September 1936), worked as a teacher, and his father, Sven,[32] (born 1 July 1932) was an economist. Lorentzon has two older siblings.[33] He has lived in Vasastan, Stockholm, since 2005. He also owns an apartment in the ski resort community of Åre.[33]

Lorentzon has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[34]


  1. ^ a b "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Martin Lorentzon". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Spotifys agenda: Fler låtar i fler länder". Dagens Nyheter. 17 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "STING Day 2015 Interview with Martin Lorentzon, Spotify". Sting Incubator and Accelerator. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Elofsson, Jonas (23 April 2013). "It-branschens Greta Garbo". (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Leifland, Cristina. "Civilingenjörer väl rustade för att bli entreprenörer" (PDF) (in Swedish). Framtidens Karriär. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Bloomberg Profile Martin Lorentzon". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Dubblad försäljning för Tradedoubler".
  8. ^ "Ny Teknik". 20 September 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2003. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  9. ^ "20 Years. Tradedoubler Celebrates Anniversary and Reflects on Success". 12 March 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Tradedoubler wins Best Exporting Company of the Year". win2day. 24 May 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  11. ^ a b Lindvall, Helienne (25 April 2013). "Spotify Cofounder Martin Lorentzon Outed as a Tax Dodger". Digital Music News. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Spotify Subscriptions Boost Revenue But Operating Loss Widens". Fortune. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  13. ^ Bertoni, Steven (3 January 2012). "30 under 30". Forbes. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Martin Lorentzon 13G Filling 2019". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Spotify Board: Martin Lorentzon". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  16. ^ "U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Special Backstage Intro: Meet co-founder Martin". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Prince Daniel — Royal Engagements". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Martin Lorentzon och Maria Rankka nya ledamöter i Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien". (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Lorentzon försvarar brevlådeföretag" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Spotifygrundare från Borås undviker svensk skatt" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Martin Lorentzon och Daniel Ek utsedda till Årets Svensk i Världen 2014". Svenskar i Världen (in Swedish). 20 August 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  23. ^ Carlsson, Sven. "Spotify-grundaren: "Vi är den vita riddaren"" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Ludvig Strigeus och Martin Lorentzon". Chalmers University of Technology (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  25. ^ "Martin Lorentzon - Founder of Spotify". Chalmers University of Technology (in Swedish). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  26. ^ Karlsson, Johannes (5 April 2019). "Spotifygrundaren blir expert åt Moderaterna" (in Swedish). Dagens Industri. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Moderaterna vill skapa en ny svensk modell" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  28. ^ Larsson, Arne. "Svårt att se hur Moderaterna ska ena borgerligheten". (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  29. ^ "DN Debatt. En integrationskommission ska ta fram genomförbara reformer" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Brita Inger Margareta Lorentzon". (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  31. ^ Rosenqvist, Håkan (19 November 2013). "Allt har gått så jäkla fort". Boras Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  32. ^ Lorentzon, Sven (11 December 2016). "Låt högskolan ta över Folkets hus". Borås Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  33. ^ a b Krafft, Eyal Sharon (1 April 2019). "Jag vill fortsätta att förändra saker". (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  34. ^ Rehnberg, Hugo (14 December 2017). "Överläkare: Alla befinner sig någonstans på adhd-skalan". (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
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