Lars Johan Magnus Staël von Holstein (born 5 May 1963 in Halmstad, Sweden) is a Swedish entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author who co-founded dot-com companies such as Icon Medialab and LetsBuyIt during the early dot-com boom in Sweden.
Stael von Holstein is a well known public speaker and author within the field of entrepreneurship, technology, privacy and digital rights issues and has been perceived as one of the leading Internet visionaries in Europe.
Staël von Holstein studied information technology at Lund University, in the south of Sweden. In 1989, at the age of 25, he began studies at the Stockholm School of Business, Stockholm University in Sweden, where he majored in marketing management. He also attended a summer session at Harvard Business School, taking two MBA course units, "International Business" and "Doing Business with Pacific Rim Countries", and spent a semester at Lynn University in Florida.
He began his career at media and finance conglomerate the Kinnevik Group as apprentice to Jan Hugo Stenbeck. Staël von Holstein worked his way up to his first CEO position at start up ITV (Interactive television), having been a marketing director of Z-TV, the Kinnevik Group's flagship TV channel for young people. He grew InTV to become the largest teletext company in Europe with offices in six countries. Staël von Holstein was vice president of Inlux, in Luxemburg, then went on to become responsible for banque Invik's sales and credit card operations.
At the end of 1995, Staël von Holstein left the Kinnevik Group to found website-design company Icon Medialab together with Jesper Jos Olsson, Erik Wickström, and Magnus Lindahl.
He moved back to Stockholm in 2004 to start IQUBE, which quickly grew into one of the largest private incubators in Europe with a portfolio of more than 100 companies.
IQUBE was recognized as a value creator and major investors included Investor, the Nordic region's largest industrial holding company, as well as Sjätte AP-Fonden, a Swedish pension fund. Staël von Holstein during this time was recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by Chief Executive magazine and elected as one of ten board members on the Swedish Government's Cultural Board, a government agency with the task of implementing national cultural policy.
He was an independent, right-wing columnist for the Stockholm-edition of the newspaper Metro until 2000 and is now back.
Icon Media Lab CEO (first two years)
At the end of 1995, Staël von Holstein left the Kinnevik Group to found Icon Medialab together with Jesper Jos Olsson, Erik Wickström, and Magnus Lindahl.. The company went public in 1999 and continued rapid expansion with a US 70 million-dollar investment to the Asian market in 2000. At its peak the company had over 3000 employees in 32 offices in cities around the globe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Geneva, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Malmö, Melbourne, Milan, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, St Louis, Stockholm, Sydney, Tampere, Vienna and Washington DC. The company merged with Lost Boys in 2002 and later changed its name to LB Icon AB. In 2006 the company merged with Framfab and changed its name to LBI International AB. Bought 2011 by Publicist for $540 Million and is still the largest web consultancy in the world.
LetsBuyIt.com chairman and founder
In 1998 Staël von Holstein founded LetsBuyIt, an online price comparison platform that enables its users to share, compare, and buy various products. It was the first ultimate Social Shopping Portal. As one of the first sharing economy companies it was recognized as the biggest e-commerce company, in Europe, two years in a row.
Speed Ventures chairman and founder (sold) 1998– Venture Capital firm
IQube founder and CEO
In 2004, Staël von Holstein started IQUBE, which quickly grew into one of the largest private incubators in Europe with a portfolio of more than 100 companies.
MyCube founder, chairman and CEO
Staël von Holstein founded MyCube in 2008, a digital life management tool for exchanging, sharing and selling content. Mycube was the first decentralized social exchange that prioritized privacy, ownership, and user freedom to monetize on their own creativity in contrast to centralized networks as Facebook etc., where a very small amount of value is distributed back to the content creators. Mycube filed for voluntary liquidation late 2012.
Seed investor in: Crowd1, AccedoBroadband, Apotea, BokaDirekt, BlueFish, Diamorph, Elucidon (Silobreaker), EpiSurf, IconMedialab (Sold, Public on NASDAQ & Stockholm stock exchange and eventually bought by Publicis), Invajo, KennethWorks (Sold to Google), Letsbuyit (Sold, Public on NeueMacht), RAP, Result, Reis (sold), TheLocal, Tunigo (sold to Spotify) WeMind, Werlabs IQUBE was recognized as a value creator and major investors included Investor, the Nordic region's largest industrial holding company, as well as Sjätte AP-Fonden, a Swedish pension fund. Staël von Holstein was during this time recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by Chief Executive magazine and elected as one of ten board members on the Swedish Government's Cultural Board, a government agency with the task of implementing national cultural policy.