Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well.
Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both domestically and abroad, explained CEO Steven Galanis in a conversation with Variety. “We think this could be huge in India,” he said.
To date, Cameo has worked with some 15,000 athletes, Hollywood celebrities, digital influencers and others. Creators working with Cameo include Ice T, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Omarosa, Caitlyn Jenner, Snoop Dogg, Gary Busey and more.
For prices ranging from $5 to $2500, each of these stars can be booked to record a personal video greeting. Altogether, Cameo’s roster of talent has recorded some 275,000 such personalized videos ever since the service launched in early 2017.
Galanis recalled that the inspiration for the service came in part from co-founder Devon Spinnler, who had been a star on Twitter’s since-defunct social video service Vine. Spinnler’s Vine videos had been viewed more than 860 million times, but he wasn’t able to translate his online popularity into financial success. “He was someone that was more famous than he was rich,” Galanis said.
The influencer market has changed quite a bit since those early days of Vine, but Spinnler argued that there was still a lot of room for celebrities to monetize on their fame. “You can only do so many brand deals,” he said.
Cameo takes a 25% cut from any money made on its platform, but Galanis said that this still leaves plenty of money on the table for creators. “Our top talent makes over $100,000 a month,” he explained.
In addition to expanding abroad, Cameo is also going to use the new funding to grow its Los Angeles office, which opened in February and now houses 20 employees. An additional 66 staffers work in the company’s headquarters in Chicago. Altogether, Cameo has raised some $65 million in funding.