Cameo raises $12.5M after a year of massive growth

by Michael Hines
November 27, 2018
Cameo $12.5 million funding

Cameo is ready for a starring role.

The startup, whose marketplace lets fans purchase personalized video shoutouts from their favorite celebrities, has raised $12.5 million in new funding.

CEO Steven Galanis said the round was led by Menlo Park’s Lightspeed Venture Partners. Returning investors include Chicago Ventures, Starting Line, Origin Ventures and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. New investors include Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Bedrock Capital and a handful of strategic and celebrity investors.

“We’ve built a world-class team that’s able to attract and retain top talent and a platform that our talent likes so much,” said Galanis in a July interview with Built In Chicago. “There’s no limit to what we could do, but today we’re focused on doing one thing exceptionally well.”

Cameo’s marketplace features over 3,000 celebrities, ranging from reality television stars to athletes and social media influencers. Some of the platform’s biggest names include former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, actor Tom Felton, best known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, and reality TV star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

Rates range from the hundreds of dollars — Favre, Felton and Snooki all cost $300 and up — to $15 for lesser-known celebs. Cameo keeps a 25 percent cut from all videos.

“It’s really the best way for the talent to monetize their social in a brand-positive way,” Galanis said in July. “The customer ends up paying the talent to make them more popular with their fans.”

Cameo has had quite the year. In February, an SEC filing revealed the company raised $3.2 million in new funding, and Cameo was named to Time Magazine’s 2018 Genius Companies list in October.

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