Cameo, a celebrity shoutout platform, has reached Unicorn status. In a blog post, the company announced that after raising $100 million in its Series C funding round, it achieved a valuation of just over $1 billion.
In addition, the company detailed those who helped this latest funding round happen. Leading the round was Jonathan Turner from e.ventures, a global investment firm; he will also join the company’s board of directors.
“Cameo is creating a new category and fundamentally changing the relationship between talent and fans. We are at an early stage, but the opportunity is massive,” Turner said. “We’re excited to use our international expertise to help Cameo become a global phenomenon.”
Those who backed the round alongside Turner included a number of new investors; Amazon’s Alexa Fund and UTA Ventures came on as strategic investors and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Valor Equity Partners, and Counterpoint Global joined as growth investors.
Also backing it were new Cameo investors, including professional skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk. He expressed his excitement on becoming a co-investor in a video posted to YouTube; Hawk also added that he “can’t wait” to see what they can do to grow the business and take Cameo to the next level. Current Cameo investors such as Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, The Chernin Group, and Origin Ventures participated in the funding round as well.
In the post, Cameo CEO Steven Galanis highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had put extra stress on the business models that supported talent in the entertainment and sports ecosystems. Because of this, he added that we now exist in an “entirely different world.”
“This funding will help us create the access and connections that will define the future of the ‘connection economy’ on a global scale,” Galanis said.
What Is Cameo?
For those who may not know about Cameo, it serves as a way for fans to directly connect with some of their favorite celebrities through short-form videos. The company launched four years ago and has skyrocketed throughout the last year due to the pandemic.
In order to utilize Cameo, users must create an account on either the website or mobile app. From there, they can visit the Cameo Marketplace to see which famous figures are featured, with the number going into the thousands.
Once a celebrity is chosen, users fill out a request form to detail what they would like them to say or do and then pay accordingly; prices do vary. From there, the Cameo talent they sent a request to has seven days to accept or deny it. If the talent accepts, they will record the video and Cameo will then send the link to the email addresses and phone numbers listed on the request and users can share it however they like.
Featured celebrities on Cameo include Snoop Dogg, Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller, Gilbert Gottfried, Flavor Flav, Carole Baskin, LeAnn Rimes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lindsay Lohan, and several more.
The company has stated that the majority of its video requests come in as gifts for others. Following the funding round, it said that it also plans to grow the Cameo for Business (C4B) side of the platform, where businesses can request and pay for celebrities to promote a product or have them attend an event.