Hollywood Unlocked Inc., the Black-owned news content platform offering the latest articles and insights on the world of Hollywood, founded by culture critic and media mogul Jason Lee, announced today that it raised approximately $1.7 million in seed investments, the most recent of which values the company at more than $50 million. Investors in the entertainment platform include Hidden Empire Film Group, owned by Hollywood prolific filmmaking team Deon Taylor and Roxanne Avent-Taylor, Brown Venture Group, which invests exclusively in minority-led technology companies and Black Capital, a Black-owned venture fund managed by former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Other institutional investors include Bracket Capital and Intuition Capital.
Capital raised is ear-marked for further development of Hollywood Unlocked’s technology platform, business expansion, and operations. With substantial growth in viewership across platforms and the launch of an in-house studio space that will produce a new streaming talk show, “The Jason Lee Show,” Hollywood Unlocked is gearing up for further expansion planned for later this year within the following key areas:
- Education: Launching Millionaire Media Unlocked, an online course in which Jason Lee reveals his blueprint for building successful blogs and podcasts. Lee walks users through some of his successes and failures by sharing the industry knowledge needed to get started. Users will also be able to learn how to form, build and manage their own potentially multi-million media companies
- Empowerment: Activating the power of pop culture to uplift at-risk youth through the Hollywood Cares Foundation, with a particular focus on underserved minority communities to help them drive lasting change, for themselves and others, The Hollywood Cares Foundation will also leverage the arts, entertainment industry, and brands to equip young people to thrive in their academic, social, and civic lives. Under Jason Lee’s guidance, the Foundation will aim to inspire change by providing opportunities for young people to be active participants in creating the culture that surrounds them, to empower themselves and each other
- Entertainment: Launching a new talk show format to drive momentum around pop culture’s biggest moments with iconic television shows and radio productions such as “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee” and the “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee [UNCENSORED]” podcast that addresses the latest rumors to a millennial-focused collective audience with captivating tell-all interviews with exclusive celebrity guests. HU sets the standards for industry accomplishments by celebrating industry milestones and cultural significance with the brand’s annual Impact Awards.
“It’s important for us to find partnerships with investment groups that share a similar vision in uplifting marginalized voices in entertainment that are shifting our culture forward,” said Jason Lee, Founder, and CEO of Hollywood Unlocked. “We are extremely grateful for our partners at Hidden Empire Film Group, Brown Venture Group, and Black Capital and look forward to what is ahead.”
Hollywood Unlocked is on a mission to create spaces for Black voices. The platform addresses the latest hottest news topics for its growing millennial-focused collective audience of currently more than seven million weekly and gives captivating tell-all interviews with top-tier celebrity names such as Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish, and Ye (formerly Kanye West).
A mainstay for the hottest scoops and the most memorable trending celebrity moments and one of the nation’s leading entertainment brands, “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee” produces thousands of hours of content and drives engagement exceeding 550 million impressions per month, along with amassing more than 2.9 million Instagram followers.
Coming off a successful Hollywood Unlocked Second Annual Impact Awards last summer, Lee teamed up with Ye to host a Black Futures Brunch with voices within the media to talk about the importance of Black representation within the industry.
“We are thrilled to invest in Jason Lee and his larger purpose and vision as a Black entrepreneur. He’s the real deal,” says Chris Brooks, Co-Founder of Brown Venture Group.
“As Hollywood Unlocked’s visionary, Jason’s accomplishments and mission resonate with a broad and engaged consumer base, and we are excited to see what he has in line for the future,” said Kevin Johnson, Founding and Managing Partner of Black Capital. “When I envision the future of media, I see Jason at the helm as a disruptor and innovator pushing our narrative forward,” Johnson said.