Entrepreneur

AFL star Brad Moran sells his tech business CitrusAd for $205million


Footy star sells his tech business for $205million – 100 times what he made playing AFL before his career was cut short by injuries

  • Brad Moran, 35, represented North Melbourne and Adelaide in his AFL career
  • Injuries saw the ruckman retire in 2011, he then turned his attention to business
  • Soon developed CitrusAd, an online advertising platform for global companies
  • Sold business to French multinational advertising and PR firm Publicis Groupe










Former AFL player Brad Moran has earned a $205 million payday by selling the software company he started after his retirement.

French advertising and PR firm Publicis Groupe has bought CitrusAd for 100 times more than what the retired ruckman made from football.

Moran’s professional career at North Melbourne and Adelaide ended in 2011 due to a series of injuries, and he launched the start-up six years later.

CitrusAd is an advertising platform where supermarkets and other retailers charge brands for product placement in their online stores.

Former AFL player Brad Moran has earned a $205 million payday by selling the software company he started after his retirement

Former AFL player Brad Moran has earned a $205 million payday by selling the software company he started after his retirement 

Brad Moran, 35, represented North Melbourne (pictured) and Adelaide in his AFL career - before injuries saw him retire in 2011

Brad Moran, 35, represented North Melbourne (pictured) and Adelaide in his AFL career – before injuries saw him retire in 2011

Global clients include Unilever, Target, Tesco, Woolworths, Coles, Dan Murphy’s and The Iconic.

Soon after developing a presence online with CitrusAd, brands then pay top dollar for their products to be seen at eye level.

The business was launched by Moran, 35, and his business partner Nick Paech in December of 2017 and quickly became a market leader.

What we learned after talking to the grocers for a long time was that they used to make a lot of their money from the eye-line shelf space,’ Moran told The Australian.

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‘And so we basically decided to build the digital version of that – a system where the retailer could allow their suppliers to bid like they would on Google for the top spots… but instead of Google it was Woolworths or Coles.’ 

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, CitrusAd endured some testing moments.

Enter MA Financial and a series of other investors, whose injection of funds, believed to be about $6.6 million, provided the business financial stability.

Moran said the money ‘saved’ the business, and allowed it to undergo a series of calculated risks without fear of going under.

After hanging up his playing boots in 2011, Brad Moran worked on a few other business ventures before launching CitrusAd in 2017 alongside Nick Paech

After hanging up his playing boots in 2011, Brad Moran worked on a few other business ventures before launching CitrusAd in 2017 alongside Nick Paech

Fast forward to the fourth quarter of 2020, and CitrusAd turned over a tidy profit and was entrenched as a genuine market player.

They decided to sell as in recent months the business partners felt the timing was right – and they were exhausted after years at the helm.

The ongoing fear of global giants Microsoft and Google taking their business at any time was also a significant factor.

With the business deal now finalised, CitrusAd will be part of Publicis Groupe’s data analytics business, Epsilon, where Moran and Paech will remain as chief executive and chief marketing officer respectively. 

Before chasing a career in the AFL, Moran was a junior representative rugby and soccer player.

He only started playing Aussie rules after moving to the Gold Coast with his family from his native England at the age of 15. 

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