Australian entrepreneur Nick Bell has announced he has sold WME, the digital marketing agency he founded in 2008, to Melbourne IT for $39 million.
The deal was finalised on Monday and will see Bell exit the company at the end of June 2017.
Bell, recently listed on the BRW Young Rich List for 2016, will turn his attention to his other businesses, both here and overseas, as well as to angel investing and helping other Australian start-ups.
Bell started WME with his last $400 in his bedroom before rapid growth led to staff of over 200, large clients including Spalding, The Atlantic Group, Rodger David and Allied Pickfords, and an impressive awards tally, including a listing in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for three years running.
During WME’s growth spurt, Bell also started, co-founded or invested in a number of other companies in Australia and overseas. He remains involved in these ventures, which include mobile-first agency Appscore and hosting company Hosting Australia.
Bell also remains head of a global group of digital companies employing 300 people across six countries, and will turn part of his attention to immediate growth in Asia.
“The growth and sale of WME has been an extremely challenging and enjoyable experience,” he said.
“I am extremely happy to be handing over the reins to Melbourne IT, who have a great reputation for service and success. It was very important to me that the company was left in the hands of people who genuinely want to continue its growth.
“Personally, the time was also right for me to exit the business. I have a number of other business interests both in Australia and overseas which I want to turn my attention to and help achieve the same growth that WME did.
“I am also excited by the potential Australia is showing in providing the foundations for high-quality start-ups and want to become significantly more involved in nurturing and investing in the talent and ideas we have in our own backyard. I’ll be devoting plenty of time to opening my door to entrepreneurs who would like to discuss or pitch their business.