Celebrity video request site Cameo reaches unicorn status with $100M raise

Cameo, the celebrity video site you’re probably familiar with if you’ve celebrated a birthday in the last three years, announced this morning that it’s raised a $100M Series C. The round, which was led by Jonathan Turner with e.ventures, puts the site’s value at just north of $1 billion.

Cameo has been building a good deal of steam in recent years, but the service is among those that managed to get a major boost amid the pandemic, as celebrities and normals alike suddenly found themselves with a lot more time on their hands.

“The pandemic put extra stress on the already unstable business models supporting talent across sports and entertainment ecosystems,” CEO Steven Galanis said in a Medium post tied to the news. “It catalyzed a massive shift in awareness and widespread adoption of direct-to-fan models, which has, in turn, created a new foundation for fan engagement. We exist in an entirely different world today — one in which talent actually want to connect more deeply with their fans, and fans expect unprecedented access to the talent they admire most. This funding will help us create the access and connections that will define the future of the ‘connection economy’ on a global scale.”

This latest round more than doubles the service’s total funding, bringing it up to $165 million. Google Ventures, Amazon Alexa Fund, UTA, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Valor Equity Partners and Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley) join existing investors, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, The Chernin Group, Origin Venture and Spark Capital. There are also some “talent investors” on board, as well, including skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk. Because, you know, Cameo.

Cameo says some 80% of its standard video requests are booked as gifts, to celebrate things like birthdays. In total, around two million videos have been created through the offering. But the site is looking to grow into additional categories. Last year it added the ability to book celebrities as guests for Zoom video chats (a very pandemic-focused offering).

Some of the funding will go toward ramping up Cameo for Business (C4B), which brings celebrity videos to events and conferences, as well as ads and sales. Effectively, the service works as a pipeline between businesses and famous people. The company will also be expending its international offering, growing beyond the approximately 20% of videos currently purchased outside the U.S.

Read More