Fueling the Future of the Connection Economy
In the future, talent will have a personal relationship with all of their fans.
Coming off a landmark 2020, we’re excited to announce Cameo’s $100M Series C funding to help fuel the future of the Connection Economy. The investment brings our total funding to more than $165M, at a valuation of just over $1B.
Led by Jonathan Turner with global investment firm, e.ventures, the round also includes a host of new strategic investors, including Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and UTA Ventures; growth investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Valor Equity Partners, and Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley); GV (formerly Google Ventures), and a number of Cameo talent investors, including legendary skateboarder and entrepreneur, Tony Hawk. Cameo’s existing investors, Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, The Chernin Group, and Origin Ventures, also participated. With the new funding, we’ll welcome Jonathan Turner to Cameo’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.” says Jonathan Turner, partner e.ventures. “We’re excited to use our international expertise to help Cameo become a global phenomenon.”
“The pandemic put extra stress on the already unstable business models supporting talent across sports and entertainment ecosystems. 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,” says Cameo CEO, Steven Galanis. “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.”
We’ve come a long way in four short years; and with this new funding, we are ready to invest in four main areas: improving the core Cameo experience, introducing new products, reaching new customers, and entering new markets.
Improving the Core Cameo Experience
Since our launch four years ago, Cameo’s bread and butter has been the personalized video message. In fact, we’ve now helped create more than two million magical moments between talent and their biggest fans, with about 80% of Cameos booked as gifts for others (happy birthdays, congratulations, roasts, etc). This funding will help us improve the core product for talent, gifters, and fans alike — all while growing the talent base and elevating our data capabilities so talent can run their Cameo businesses in a more meaningful way.
Launching New Products for Fan Engagement
Our vision for Cameo is to create the means for talent to build personal relationships with each and every one of their fans. This year, we will expand our product ecosystem beyond the core Cameo video experience with products — like Fan Clubs and Cameo Calls — aimed at delighting superfans, while helping talent build deeper connections with and manage their Cameo fanbase.
Building a B2B Business
As the consumer side of Cameo grows, so do the opportunities for brands and businesses. With this funding, we will grow Cameo for Business (C4B) with more dedicated product offerings and white glove service for brands and businesses of all sizes. As we mentioned in our 2020 recap, this is a multimillion dollar business growing at a rate of 900% YoY (without so much as a landing page until mid-December!). You can expect to see more from C4B as we tackle four core B2B segments: marketing, HR and employee engagement, sales, and events.
Rolling out the Red Carpet, Abroad
Finally, we will accelerate our efforts to build a global experience, inclusive of fans and talent in non English-speaking countries. In June 2019, we kicked off internationalization with a focus on growth in Australia and the UK. Today, nearly 20% of Cameos are purchased from outside of the US; and last year alone, we made fans smile, laugh, and cry in 178 different countries. Cameo’s talent base is spread across 138 countries around the world, but we have more work to do to ensure the experience is truly global.
March 2021 marks Cameo’s fourth year in business — and so far, this year’s been another one for the books: we’ve grown our employee base 30%, welcomed nearly 2,000 new talent, and reached 50/50 gender parity on our global leadership team. This new funding is another huge milestone for Cameo…and we’re just getting started.