This is a MEMBERS ONLY post but consider this one is on us! Become a member for more insider intel on M&A, state of the industry and deal flow.
After a long hunt for an acquirer, JASH, the digital comedy studio launched by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Reggie Watts has landed at Discovery’s Group Nine Media.
Rumors of the acquisition first surfaced in September, when the company was courting several buyers — the result of JASH’s inability to generate an incline in revenue meaningful enough to sustain the business. Despite a growing network and deals with networks including Comedy Central, sources close to the company claim JASH needed to find an exit, or another significant round of funding, and fast.
One source even claimed that revenue had “flatlined” while others internally claim the revenues from its original comedy formats and specials drove triple what it generated in 2016.
Even further, the company struggled to wrangle its co-founders into supporting the brand, including Sarah Silverman, who announced a special with Hulu and JASH competitor Funny or Die at Hulu’s upfront in May.
Though specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, chatter among executives is that the deal put JASH’s valuation in the low millions.
According to the news, The JASH team will work to develop new IP from Group Nine’s portfolio of media brands, which include NowThis, Seeker and The Dodo. The comedy-centric studio will also assist Group Nine in exploring new distribution paths for its projects and will help grow its branded content business.
Jash and Group Nine worked together last year to produce a town hall with Bernie Sanders and host Silverman for NowThis. “We share many sensibilities,” Kellison said. “It is a great way to grow and expand the company.”
Jash originally launched as a YouTube channel in 2012 and has 121,000 subscribers on the platform, when including its network of channels, it reaches over 4 million subscribers. The channel has been home to series including “Norm Macdonald Live,” and has also sold content to Verizon’s go90 and Snapchat. Additionally, the studio serves as the production company behind Silverman’s Netflix special, “A Speck of Dust”, and Comedy Central’s “The High Court.”