Laugh.ly, a fairly new streaming service for stand-up comedy that launched this past August, has just closed on $2.25 million in seed funding led by New York Angels, a technology-focused investment company. Laugh.ly is the first streaming service to offer an extensive library of comedians’ stand-up sets, with content from the most popular names in the business, including Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Louis C.K., George Carlin, Chris Rock and more. However, SVOD services like NBC’s Seeso and comedy collective JASH have also produced stand up comedy specials.
The $2.5 million also included investments from Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, the Wharton Alumni Angel Network, Social+Capital, Backstage Capital, Treehouse Capital, Accelerator Ventures and Atlas Holdings. In addition to this round of investments Laugh.ly had previously raised funds through a SAFE note (the user friendly replacement for a convertible note) that included $750,000 from the founders, and $1.5 million from investors.
According to Laugh.ly, their goal is to offer comedians a new stream of income at a time where fewer people are buying their CDs and DVDs, and instead are using streaming services like Netflix and HBO Now to watch their stand-up sets. But while those stand-up videos are now easier to find online, the CD equivalent is not. That’s where Laugh.ly comes in.
The company can be described as a Pandora for comedy given the app can create personalized “radio” stations of comedy, in addition to offering on-demand listening. And since its creation, Laugh.ly has grown to include albums from 400 comedians and has seen the addition of tens of thousands of tracks. Since August 2016 more than 200,000 users who average about 60 minutes per session have used the app.
“We’re creating a one-stop-shop for funny,” said CEO Dave Scott, in a statement about the funding. “It’s been great seeing our vision and the passion our team has for providing access to quality stand-up comedy come to fruition.”
The app itself is free, but Laugh.ly offers a premium tier that delivers a handful of paid features, including the ability to listen offline, remove ads and filter out profanity, however, Scott declined to disclose where the company was in terms of revenue.