Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures Receives Substantial Investment From J.P. Morgan

Comedian and entrepreneur Kevin Hart has received a substantial investment from a major banking institution for his venture capital firm.

According to TechCrunch, Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures has received its first institutional investment from J.P. Morgan. The announcement took place on Wednesday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

The newly formed venture capital firm will have a focus on lifestyle, media, and technology. A portion of the fund will go towards supporting minority and underrepresented founders.

Hart expressed to the audience that entering the world of investing was not what he expected, and he had to learn the meaning of investment.

“I had to learn why investing was okay,” Hart said.

“From my understanding, the world of investing — well, it was attached to the space of a con. You’re trying to con me out of my money. I don’t trust you. I’m not giving nobody my money so they can run off and do what they want — that was my challenge. The biggest learning curve for me was understanding that the investment has a timeline attached to it and because I invested today, does that mean I get anything tomorrow?”

J.P. Morgan’s head of digital investment banking and digital private markets Michael Elanjian also spoke about the investment going through a program called Project Spark. The amount of the investment is the most that can be allocated to a fund. Project Spark’s initiative invests money into diverse and women-led ventures.

“We created an initiative a couple years ago called Project Spark, which is ‘How can we give diverse funds capital and first-time fund managers to change that equation?’” Elanjian said. “Over the last few years, we’ve put $90 million into 23 funds that have gone on to raise over $900 million of capital. And so through this project and through meeting with Kevin’s team, we’re super excited that as of yesterday, we just closed and J.P. Morgan is now the first investor in Hartbeat Ventures’ new fund and we’re very excited for the things that we can do together.”

Hartbeat Ventures has been busy investing in several companies: 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.

Hart credits the team of people around him with helping to make the right business moves.

“This is not a Kevin Hart machine that Kevin Hart stands in front of and I said it has to happen and there’s no other way,” Hart said. “This is a table. This is a table where we sit and we talk, we ideate and we come up with the best possible ideas. That’s something that I’ve done very well over the years. I’ve aligned myself with people who have done it right and that’s how I’ve learned.”