Comedian will establish HARTBEAT, a new media business, with a $100 million investment from Abry Partners.
The new venture, unveiled Tuesday, is a combination of his two production companies, Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions. Hart intends to leverage this investment to build more employees, grow the existing brand in the new business, and develop new content.
"The creation of HARTBEAT and the purchase of a capital raise with Abry represents a different era in comedy," Hart said. "This all began with a vision to keep the world laughing together, and I'm so proud our teams have delivered on that, putting in the hard work to develop the most innovative and inclusive comedic storytelling company."
Nicolas Massard of Abry Partners will join the HARTBEAT board, and Peacock, who owns an Equity position in Laugh Out Loud, as well as a multi-year, first-look deal, will remain a shareholder.
This is the latest private equity. Tom Staggs and Kevin Mayer's Blackstone-backed Candle Media has purchased stakes in Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith's Westbrook Media and now owns Fauda producer Faraway Road. RedBird Capital has purchased a stake in SpringHill, citing a rise in streaming content.
HARTBEAT has a film partnership with Netflix, a partnership with SiriusXM, and a deal with Audible and Charlamagne Tha God. More than 60 projects are currently underway, including Me Time on Netflix with Mark Wahlberg and Regina Hall, Storytown on HBOMax and Heist, an action film directed by Gary Gray.
On Headspace, developing Dave on FX, the standup comedy label Comedy in Color and Meditate with Me. Tiffany Haddish, Hasan Minhaj, Amanda Seales, and Deon Cole have all worked together in previous projects.
Hartbeat Productions and Laugh Out Loud's leadership team will remain operational, with Thai Randolh, who was previously the head operating officer of both organizations, being promoted to chief executive.