Hollywood actor and stand-up comedian Kevin Hart announced the formation of his multi-platform media company called HARTBEAT, with a $100 million investment from Abry Partners.
The private equity firm took a minority investment in the new company at an undisclosed valuation.
New media company, investment
His newly-formed company, which was unveiled Tuesday, was created after merging his two production firms — HartBeat Productions and Laugh Out Loud.
As part of the $100 million investment deal, Abry Partners’ partner Nicolas Massard will join HartBeat’s board and NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock — which signed a first look, multi-year deal and grabbed an equity stake in Laugh Out Loud two years ago — will still be a shareholder, the company said.
The Forbes' 2020 Celebrity 100 Earnings listee, who is known for his roles in the “Jumanji” remakes and “Ride Along” films, plans to use the investment to expand his team and talent partnerships, grow the existing brands and franchises, and develop new content.
The single comedy-centered entity operates under three divisions — HARTBEAT Studios, HARTBEAT Media, and PULSE.
Two of Hart's entertainment businesses’ existing leadership teams will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Hart will be the chairman, and Thai Randolph, who helped raise the capital and was formerly the president and chief operating officer of both entities, has been promoted to CEO of HARTBEAT. The comedian’s LOL! Network, which is operated under HARTBEAT Media, will continue to be the firm's flagship consumer brand.
Randolph emphasized that HARTBEAT wants to build an “end-to-end entertainment enterprise that creates, markets and distributes the most culturally relevant IP and experiences in comedy and beyond.”
“The creation of HARTBEAT and our capital raise with Abry represent a new era in comedy. This all started out with a mission to keep the world laughing together, and I'm so proud our teams have delivered on that, putting in the hard work to build the most innovative and inclusive comedic storytelling company,” said Hart in a statement.