×

Former Snap Content Head Nick Bell Joins Startup Incubator Human Ventures

Nick Bell, just months after leaving Snap as VP of content, has landed at startup-studio incubator firm Human Ventures where he’s focused on “attention economy” digital-content startups and will lead its new L.A. office.

In addition, working alongside Bell as co-managing director, Human Ventures has hired Ashlyn Gentry, formerly SVP of commercial growth and strategy at data-analytics vendor Palantir Technology in New York.

Human Ventures says it’s dedicated to building, funding and launching high-growth companies. The New York-based company recently announced a $50 million fund, which it will use to invest in new founders, outside companies, and its existing portfolio.

Heather Hartnett, Human Ventures CEO and founding partner, cited attention-economy startups as “not only a massive business opportunity, but a socially important one that, done right, could help people live better.”

“We’d be hard pressed to find two people more suited to this cause,” Hartnett wrote in a blog post announcing their hires. “Both Ashlyn and Nick have been at the forefront of how people spend their attention and the businesses built around attention.”

Snap last fall announced that Bell would be exiting at the end of 2018 after nearly five years leading content development and acquisition for the Snapchat platform. Prior to Snap, he was SVP of digital products for News Corp.

Bell sees his new gig with Human Ventures as “a massive opportunity to steer an entire industry.” He said in a statement, “It’s a rare moment in time, and there are so many brilliant, talented entrepreneurs waiting to be discovered and build future digital businesses.”

Human Ventures was formed in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Joe Marchese, who is currently head of ad sales for Fox Networks Group but is expected to depart once the Disney acquisition closes. He joined Fox in December 2014 when 21st Century Fox acquired his ad-tech company TrueX for around $200 million.

Hartnett said Bell will lead Human Ventures’ Attention operations on the West Coast, “giving our studio fresh access to top entrepreneurial talent in media and technology, as well as a new investor community.” Bell told Variety he’s been slowly ramping up with Human Ventures over past few weeks and is searching for office space now, likely to be in West L.A.

Human Ventures’ current portfolio of investments includes Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss, Reserve, Clark, Token, Picture Motion, Current, Iconery, Tycoon, Paladin and Octi.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Tinder - Swipe Night

    Tinder's Apocalyptic 'Swipe Night' Interactive Dating Show Sets Release Date

    Tinder next month will bow its first original entertainment content — “Swipe Night,” an interactive adventure series in which viewers are forced to make dating choices on humanity’s last night on Earth. Variety previously reported details of the location-based social network/dating app service’s foray into original content, which recently wrapped production in Mexico City and [...]

  • Editorial Use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    YouTube Rolls Back Verification Changes, Says Verified Creators Can Keep Their Badge

    A day after announcing significant changes to its verification program, YouTube announced Friday afternoon that it won’t be de-verifying existing creators after all. “We heard loud and clear how much the badge means to you,” said YouTube product manager Jonathan McPhie in a blog post. “Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it [...]

  • BLive: BitTorrent Live Streaming App to

    BitTorrent to Launch Public Beta of New Live Streaming App

    BitTorrent is getting ready to open the floodgates for its new live streaming app, dubbed BitTorrent Live: The company plans to launch a BitTorrent Live Android app on various app stores as part of a public beta test late Friday, according to a spokesperson. BitTorrent Live, which is also known as BLive, is being described [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Suspends Tens of Thousands of Apps During Privacy Investigation

    Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps ever since it began investigating potential privacy abuses, the company said Friday. The apps in question had been built by around 400 developers, and a suspension doesn’t necessarily indicate actual privacy violations. Facebook began combing through millions of apps that made use of its platform after the [...]

  • tivo logo

    Tivo Plans to Launch Android TV Dongle, Tivo+ Curation App

    DVR maker Tivo is getting ready to release a new device that may not record television at all: The company plans to launch a $50 Roku-like TV dongle early next year, its new CEO Dave Shull revealed in a conversation with CNN this week. The new device will be powered by Google’s Android TV platform, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content