Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jongleurs Entrepreneurs To Launch Comedy YouTube

Serial entrepreneurs Maria Kempinska and John Davy announced today that they are set to launch an online comedy site to bring the best of comedic talent to the internet with a dedicated IPTV offering combined with social networking features.

Kempinska devised and established the first Jongleurs club in 1983 and was joined by her business partner John Davy in 1985. They sold Jongleurs chain of eight clubs to Regent Inns in 2000 in a deal that valued the company at £30 million. Kempinska and Davy received £8.5 million and stayed on running the creative side of the clubs.

In the terms of the trade sale they retained the Jongleurs brand name, all digital and media rights, the database of acts and joint custody of the Jongleurs membership fraternity with an exclusive contact to book all the talent that appears on a Jongleurs stage.

Jongleurs.TV now aim to use the IP and digital / media rights to leverage the brand name and customer base to create the UK and Europe’s leading comedic content provider across a range of digital media platforms. The physical clubs will provide volumes of content and, along with the booking site, act as an engine to drive traffic through to the website.

The existing site ( is purely an information and ticket booking facility but has 325,000 online members and unique monthly traffic of 200,000 despite little advertising or any significant entertainment value.

Kempinska and Davy aim to leverage the existing membership, traffic flow and wealth of content to create the benchmark broadband comedy channel, firstly in the UK before rolling the brand out globally.

They are starting with a database of 1300 stand up comedians who regularly feature in Jongleurs’ clubs and events. They also maintain great relationships with all the top comedy talent in the UK, many of whom caught their initial break through Jongleurs. To be able to offer unique comedy content from this database will attract many more users to the site.

As well as creating an outlet for stand up comic’s videos the company are taking a step into the world of social networking. “Jongleurs became successful because of word of mouth. People had a great time in the clubs, told their friends and we were soon in a position to expand the business across the country. Jongleurs is still a great night out and we believe we can enhance that by giving fans of the comedy clubs a platform to interact and share their experiences and videos. Being able to start off with a good portion of the 325,000 online members would catapult us in amongst the top niche sites in the UK. Users will be able to create their own comedy spaces on the site reflecting their unique tastes which can then be shared amongst friends - 80% of all social e-communication is fun-related.”

Having a user-base already in place and having a known brand can only help the company reach its goal of being the premier online comedy channel in the UK by 2010.

However, Kempinska and Davy have more ambitious plans to expand the company overseas to develop a world-wide audience. “Comedy is an international commodity and the web gives us a fantastic platform to be able to expand our horizons world-wide. Having a known brand name and being known in the business allows us to open doors that, perhaps, others may find difficult. We intend, therefore, to leverage our UK operations into a world-wide business by 2011.”

The company is talking to financiers about funding development of the new venture and has engaged HF Capital Ltd, a boutique corporate finance firm in the City of London, to manage the transaction. Speaking about Jongleurs.TV, Tim Brown, CEO of HF Capital, said “We are delighted to have been engaged for this project. The online media space is a bright spot in the market at the moment and it is a rare opportunity to be able to leverage a 25 year old brand into an online media business. With an existing user-base and the brand loyalty that Jongleurs.TV possess we feel that the company should be a huge presence and success on web 2.0”.


Tim Brown
HF Capital Limited
31 Lombard Street
London EC3V 9BQ

+44 207 648 6020
Source - HF Capital

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