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Lego Brand Group said it has hired former Spotify executive Cecilia Qvist to run its venture capital arm, Lego Ventures.
As head of Lego Ventures, Qvist will help broaden the impact of the mission of “learning through play,” and she will have a strategic investment focus on “digital play” and “supercharging education.”
Qvist formerly oversaw the global growth strategy in existing and new territories at Spotify, with a focus on international expansion, product localization, and user growth.
Back in November, Lego Ventures spun out a new game venture called Light Brick Studio as an independent company. The spinout was the first such move for Lego and its purpose was to enable the startup to further explore the future of digital play.
The family-owned venture firm Lego Ventures is separate from the Lego Group. Qvist has experience in “technology-driven environments that are undergoing transformational change, with a solid track record of building sustainable businesses that are growing at scale, across multiple territories,” Lego said.
Qvist was instrumental in scaling the company to a multinational business and today Spotify has more than 345 million users across 170 markets. Additionally, she holds board seats at Kinnevik; a technology venture investor, Trustly; and Cint, a software firm in digital insights gathering.
Previously Qvist worked at Ericsson, Swedbank, and Nasdaq OMX.
In a statement, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of the Lego brand Group, said, “We’re thrilled to announce Cecilia joining us taking up the role as head of Lego Ventures as there’s no doubt that she can take the Lego Brand’s venture efforts to the next level together with its dedicated team. The updated Lego Ventures strategy emphasizes the Lego Brand’s ambitions and belief in the power of Learning-through-Play and we strongly believe in Lego Ventures’ role in exploring the future of play on behalf of the Lego Brand. Cecilia is here to help us achieve just that.”
Qvist has hands-on experience in developing strong global brands for both parents and children. Her experiences in acquisitions and her time spent in both China and India will be invaluable, Lego said.
“To explore the connections between learning, creativity, and ‘digital play’ by working with innovations that will shape the future of playful learning is massively exciting,” Qvist said. “Industries like gaming, adaptive education and virtual reality will have an immense impact on our daily lives in the years to come. I look forward to leading Lego Ventures and working with the portfolio to realize the vision.”
In addition to a new leader, Lego Ventures also appointed Jacob Fonnesbech Aqraou to its advisory board. Currently, he is investor in and chairman of Boats Group, Chronext, and Wallapop — all online marketplaces.
Founded in 2018, Lego Ventures is the venture capital arm of the Lego Brand. Alexis Horowitz-Burdick was the previous leader but decided to step down last spring. Paul Willmott, chief digital adviser to the Lego Group, has been the interim leader.
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