Oct 10, 2023 - Economy

Exclusive: Jellysmack acquires Law&Crime Network

Law&Crime CEO and founder Dan Abrams. Photo: Law&Crime

Jellysmack, a startup that helps creators grow their online video businesses, is acquiring Law&Crime, the true crime and legal drama media company founded by legal analyst and entrepreneur Dan Abrams, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The deal, which a source said values Law&Crime Network at nine figures, represents an extraordinary outcome for Abrams, who raised just $5 million from A&E Networks to jump-start the company's growth in 2017.

  • That deal valued the company, then a live courtroom footage site called LawNewz, at $15 million. The company renamed itself following A&E's investment.

Be smart: The acquisition marks the largest yet for Jellysmack, which has invested in several media and tech firms since it launched in 2016.

  • Jellysmack uses proprietary technology and data to help creators boost their audiences and revenue on various social video platforms.
  • Earlier this year, Jellysmack made a multimillion-dollar investment in Fourthwall, a commerce platform for creators. It acquired a creator content development company called Network Media in June. It bought a video editing startup called Kamua in 2022.

By the numbers: The deal, which is expected to be announced Tuesday, gives Jellysmack access to a huge amount of professional true crime content, as well as production and distribution capabilities that it can use to bolster the work of the 150+ true crime creators it already works with.

  • With more than 5 million subscribers to its YouTube channel and roughly 10 million social followers broadly, Law&Crime has become one of the top video publishers for coverage of viral celebrity trials, popular true crime investigations and more.

Details: The deal will keep Law&Crime's existing management team in place. Abrams will remain as CEO, and the firm's president, Rachel Stockman, and COO and general counsel Andrew Eisbrouch will also remain in their roles.

  • Jellysmack plans to expand Law&Crime's award-winning production arm, which creates true crime shows for linear and streaming TV networks.

The big picture: True crime is one of Jellysmack's fastest-growing creator categories.

  • Since launching its first true crime creator partnership with Bailey Sarian in 2020, the company has added more than 150 true crime creators as exclusives for its network.
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