My brother and I started JibJab in 1999 with a small investment from friends and family and, for the 6½ years that followed, we funded the business with sweat equity (and, man, was there a lot of sweat!)
In May 2006 we were fortunate enough to meet someone who believed in our vision of the future of entertainment enough to make an investment in JibJab. Great companies require great people and great people cost money. With Polaris’ support, we’ve been able to hire the very best artists, technologists and business people to help us transform the way entertainment is created, produced and distributed.
Jon Flint, the partner who made the investment on behalf of Polaris Venture Partners, believes (as do we) that this is a unique moment in time, when old media companies are dying and new ones are being born. Listen to what he said in the press release announcing their investment…
“We are delighted to become partners with the Spiridellis brothers, who are truly unique talents. They combine the creative zaniness of the Marx Brothers with the business acumen of the Disney brothers. JibJab has the potential to be the first great brand in comedy that was originated on digital media.”
Talk about historical perspective! That’s not exactly the quote of someone looking to flip a company and make a fast buck.
Accepting outside investment money was the hardest decision my brother and I had ever had to make and we did it very carefully. And, as always seems to be the case in life, when you connect with great people, really great things happen. Jon, Polaris and their network of friends have already contributed far more than dollars and cents towards helping us achieve our dream of building a lasting, revolutionary company and we thank Jon and the entire team at Polaris for their support.
In December 2008, Overbrook Entertainment, an entertainment production company formed in 1998 by partners James Lassiter and Will Smith, joined with Sony Pictures Entertainment to invest in JibJab. The investment was a culmination of years of exploring ways for the two companies to work together, an effort led by Ken Hertz. As part of the investment, Overbrook Entertainment partner James Lassiter will join Polaris’ Jon Flint and founders Evan and Gregg Spiridellis on JibJab’s Board of Directors and Guy Primus, Overbrook’s Head of Interactive Media, joined the company’s advisory board.
We’re thrilled to be partners with such outstanding financial and entertainment partners and believe strongly the investor team we have assembled will help us deliver amazing experiences to our audience in the months and years to come.