Martin Lorentzon

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Martin Lorentzon
Sven Hans Martin Lorentzon

(1969-04-01) 1 April 1969 (age 51)
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
Net worthUS$6.0 billion (July 2020)[1]
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 Moderate Party commission New Swedish Model.


While back in primary school, Särlaskolan in Borås, Lorentzon was telling classmates that he wanted to sell one matchbox to every Chinese person and became a billionaire.[3] In high school he attended the technical department of Sven Eriksonsgymnasiet where he liked to visit every party but always put education first: Before a test he lied that got sick and have to stay home.[4]

In 1990 he joined Chalmers University of Technology where he studied Industrial Economics and later finished with a degree of Master of science and engineering.[5]

Simultaneously in Gothenburg he attended economics courses at Business School and had internship at Volvo Torslanda.[5][4]

In 1995 he started an internship at a telephone company Telia,[4] After building a great relationship with his boss[5] he moved to San Francisco and got to work in the AltaVista office. In Silicon Valley he met skilled web-entrepreneurs and found a job at a investing company called Cell Ventures, where met a Swedish clothing line called Joy owners' son — Felix Hagnö.[4] Hagnö told Lorentzon that it is hard for a small company to find consumers online and they decided to solve this problem. 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] in 2002 the Swedish Trade Council in the United Kingdom prize "Achievement Award" for Swedish companies that have been the most successful in the UK during the past year,[9] in 2004 Swedish "Export Hermes" prize as the best Swedish exporting company.[10] It was then when Lorentzon learned negotiation with possible investors. He moves to Germany. Web sales are on peak and in 2005 he sold his Tradedoubler option for US$70 million. He admits the role of luck in this success.[3] He moved back to Sweden after ten years abroad. In March 2006 Tradedoubler bought advertising service Advertigo that was created by young Daniel Ek. The two quickly became friends and found they both experienced depression because of unexpected wealth and a lack of purpose. One year later since moving in a new apartment in April 2005[11] Lorentzon has bought only a mattress and an IKEA chair.[12]

He studied Economics in Stockholm School of Economics and took courses in rhetoric and argumentation in Stockholm University.[5]

During April 2013 — March 2018 Lorentzon has served as a member of the board of directors at Telia, his first job where he also owned 230 thousands shares.[13] He said that he stepped down due to lack of interest although before Telia tried to sell its entire holding in Spotify prior to their stock exchange listing that would harm the company.[14]

He is one of investors for — a service that helps students find accommodation.[15]


In April 2006 Ek and Lorentzon decided to start a new company that they won't sell. Martin left the board of Tradedoubler and sent one million euros to Ek. In June of 2006 Spotify was registered — A music streaming service that earns profit from online advertising, a business that they both knew very well.[16]

Martin spent his own money on developers' salaries, offices and renting music licenses. They tried to attract investors' money, but Martin was not satisfied with the conditions on which they were offered to cooperate. Because of these unplanned expenses, Martin's share in Spotify turned out to be the largest — his option is estimated at more than US$ 4 billion,[17] he holds 43.3% voting rights[1] and owns 12.7% shares.[18] Hagnö who decided to help the new idea of the former colleague owns 6.6% of the shares worth US$1.5 billion.

Lorentzon was a Chief Executive Officer 2006 — 2013 and a Chairman of board of directors 2008 — 2016, until Ek took these roles.[19] In interviews they claim that they are best friends and there has not been a day since 2006 when they didn't speak at least once a day.

Martin is responsible for developing the company's future goals and development strategy, budget, salaries,[20] verification of legal and annual financial reports.[21]

Political views[edit]

In 2013 he joined Prince Daniel's Fellowship project and now visits upper secondary schools, universities and university colleges around Sweden to inspire young people to get involved in entrepreneurship.[22] In 2016 he was elected as a member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences under the Department of Education and Research, which promotes contact and exchange between business, research, and government.[23]

In April 2013, media debated Lorentzon's relationship with Swedish tax office. Lorentzon's companies that are affiliated with Spotify and Telia are situated in Offshore financial centres: Rosello is registered on Cyprus, Amaltea is in Luxembourg.[24] In 2005, he re-registered TradeDoubler on Cyprus and thereby reduced the tax payment by $9 million.[13] In 2006 he paid 1.4 million euro as taxes.[25] Spotify was also re-registered by that time in Luxembourg, where income tax is low. According to media reports, Martin owes the Swedish tax office 6 million euro for 2007–2010, during which he filed a zero-income declaration. He responded by claiming that it is difficult to attract venture capital to his ideas in Sweden, as well as pointing to the taxes he and his company pays in Sweden.[24]

As a result, in 2014 Lorentzon was named International Swede of the Year[26] and in 2015 got an award Affärsbragden (The Business Achievement) from the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.[27] In the spring of 2015 Lorentzon was given an honorary doctorate at Chalmers University of Technology.[28][29] In April 2019 Lorentzon was assigned an immigrants' integration issues expert in a Moderate Party commission New Swedish Model created by Ulf Kristersson.[30][31][32][33]

Personal life[edit]

Martin Lorentzon was born on 1 April 1969 in the south of Sweden in the village Åsenhöga in the Gnosjö region of Småland province.[4] In February 1970,[34] his family moved to Borås, and he grew up in the Hestra quarter.[35] His mother, Brita (born 21 September 1936), worked as a teacher, and his father, Sven,[36] (born 1 July 1932) as an economist. Lorentzon has two older siblings.[37]He has lived in Vasastan, Stockholm, since 2005. He owns an apartment at the ski resort Åre.[37]

Since 2017, he has been in a relationship with a Swedish entrepreneur of Iranian origin, Tara Derakshan. He is also an investor in her startup, Sniph, a perfume subscription box.[15] Lorentzon suffers from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.[38]


  1. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Martin Lorentzon". Forbes. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  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 e Elofsson, Jonas (23 April 2013). "It-branschens Greta Garbo". (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d 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. ^ "Sven Hans Martin Lorentzon". Mr Koll. Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Sommar & Vinter i P1. Daniel Ek". Sveriges Radio P1. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b Lindvall, Helienne (25 April 2013). "Spotify Cofounder Martin Lorentzon Outed as a Tax Dodger". Digital Music News. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  14. ^ Billing, Mimi (6 March 2018). "Martin Lorentzon: "Därför har jag undanbett omval i Telia"" (in Swedish). Dagens Industri. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Martin Lorentzon". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Spotify Subscriptions Boost Revenue But Operating Loss Widens". Fortune. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  17. ^ Bertoni, Steven (3 January 2012). "30 under 30". Forbes. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Martin Lorentzon 13G Filling 2019". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Spotify Board: Martin Lorentzon". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  20. ^ "U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Special Backstage Intro: Meet co-founder Martin". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Prince Daniel — Royal Engagements". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Martin Lorentzon och Maria Rankka nya ledamöter i Kungl. Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien". (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Lorentzon försvarar brevlådeföretag" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  25. ^ "Spotifygrundare från Borås undviker svensk skatt" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Martin Lorentzon och Daniel Ek utsedda till Årets Svensk i Världen 2014". Svenskar i Världen (in Swedish). 20 August 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  27. ^ Carlsson, Sven. "Spotify-grundaren: "Vi är den vita riddaren"" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Ludvig Strigeus och Martin Lorentzon". Chalmers University of Technology (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Martin Lorentzon - Founder of Spotify". Chalmers University of Technology (in Swedish). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  30. ^ Karlsson, Johannes (5 April 2019). "Spotifygrundaren blir expert åt Moderaterna" (in Swedish). Dagens Industri. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Moderaterna vill skapa en ny svensk modell" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  32. ^ Larsson, Arne. "Svårt att se hur Moderaterna ska ena borgerligheten". (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  33. ^ "DN Debatt. En integrationskommission ska ta fram genomförbara reformer" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Brita Inger Margareta Lorentzon". (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  35. ^ Rosenqvist, Håkan (19 November 2013). "Allt har gått så jäkla fort". Boras Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  36. ^ Lorentzon, Sven (11 December 2016). "Låt högskolan ta över Folkets hus". Borås Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  37. ^ a b Krafft, Eyal Sharon (1 April 2019). "Jag vill fortsätta att förändra saker". (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  38. ^ Rehnberg, Hugo (14 December 2017). "Överläkare: Alla befinner sig någonstans på adhd-skalan". (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 18 March 2019.