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This is who benefits most from the Spotify IPO

You win when you take a company public.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in a tuxedo
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek
Jesse Grant / Getty

Spotify is worth $25 billion as of Wednesday, and that means that its founders now have real money — not just some on-paper-only wealth.

CEO Daniel Ek, who owns just over 9 percent of the music streaming company, is now sitting on about $2.3 billion of Spotify stock at its current price. His lower-profile co-founder, Martin Lorentzon, has about $3.1 billion worth of shares in the company.

What’s unusual about Spotify’s direct listing on the stock market this week is that company insiders are not required to hold onto their shares — in what’s called the lock-up — for an extended period of time. So someone like Ek or Lorentzon could sell their shares today and go buy a mansion or two tomorrow.

Other big holders of Spotify stock include the investing firms Tiger Global, TCV and the Chinese conglomerate Tencent (which is the only shareholder subject to a unique lock-up arrangement.) Each of those control between 5 percent and 10 percent of the stock.

It’s especially hard to tell, though, how much money some investors made as Spotify rose, because Spotify has had such an extensive history of private stock sales between shareholders. We don’t know, for instance, if a certain firm sold or bought shares quietly several years ago. In companies that more strictly curtail those deals, it’s easier to track the winners and losers in an IPO.

This article originally appeared on

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