Kevin Hart is a renowned American comedian, actor, and businessman. The Philadelphia-born native started his career in comedy after performing at an amateur night held in a Philadelphia-area club. He was also featured on ABC’s “The Big House,” but his act did not resonate with his audiences, leading to the cancellation of the show after six episodes.
He went into comedy, drawing inspiration from comedians like Chris Tucker, among others, and later reworked his act to get his career back on track. His career rebounded in 2006 when he released his first stand-up album, “I’m a Little Grown Man.”
This cemented his career as one of the best emerging young comedians in the 2000s. His second album, “Seriously Funny,” was released in 2010 and proved to be even bigger. He later released a series of comedies in 2011 and 2013.
Hart’s success in comedy landed him a number of movie roles. He got movie recognition when he was featured in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Soul Plane,” and “Little Fockers.” Since then, he has starred in several movies. His latest project, “True Story,” on Netflix, sees the Philly-based comedian in his first dramatic role.
His success in comedy and movies also earned him a gig in event hosting. In 2012, he hosted the MTV Award Show and other high-profile events.
Aside from comedy, acting, and hosting events, Hart is also a prolific investor with a decent business portfolio. Below are some of his businesses.
In 2016, Hart invested in the underwear brand, Tommy John. The brand was originally launched in 2008. According to PR Newswire, Hart approached Tom Patterson, founder, and CEO of Tommy John, to invest in the brand.
“I wanted to be something more than just another celebrity endorser,” said Hart. “There’s something so much more authentic about investing in the brands that you love – brands that you wear, instead of getting paid to. I love this underwear. It’s comfortable, it looks good, and they say it like it is.”
Tommy John is disrupting, innovating, and marketing underwear in a far more genuine and relatable way than the world has ever seen. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to get involved,” he added.
Laugh Out Loud
Hart launched a comedy streaming service called Laugh Out Loud. The streaming service also includes a radio show. First established in 2017, Laugh Out Loud is known for podcasts, web series, and streaming shows, including “Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart & Snoop Dogg” for Comcast Corp.’s Peacock and the Roku series “Die Hart.”
Hart is also the founder of Hartbeat. According to the Los Angeles Times, Hartbeat was formed from the merger of Hart’s film and TV Production Company, Hartbeat Productions, and Laugh Out Loud. In 2022, he secured a $100-million minority investment for his newly formed company.
“The new $100-million investment comes from private equity firm Abry Partners, which gets a minority stake in the new company and two seats on Hartbeat’s board. Peacock, which has a multi-year distribution deal with Laugh Out Loud and took a minority stake in the company in 2020, will still be a shareholder, “ the Times reported.
Hartbeat Ventures is an early-stage VC firm that focuses on lifestyle, media, and technology, as well as financial inclusion. In 2019, the firm accepted its first institutional investment from J.P. Morgan.
So far, Hartbeat ventures has made several investments, including electrolyte beverage brand, BrightFox; avatar platform, Ready Player Me; sustainable bottled water brand, Path; massage therapy device, Therabody; sustainable packaging brand, Cleancut; car leasing platform, Rodo; and social food ordering platform, Snackpass; according to Tech Crunch.