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Instead of emailing a term sheet, Ilya Fushman paid $150 to have ‘Deep Blue Sea’ actor Michael Rapaport send the Cameo founders Steven Galanis, Martin Blencowe and Devon Townsend a video message congratulating them on their $50 million Series B. A general partner at Kleiner Perkins, Fushman tapped Cameo’s own service, which sells personalized video messages from celebrities, influencers, athletes and thought leaders, to win over the startup amid what he says was a “highly competitive deal.”
Fushman and Galanis, Cameo’s chief executive officer, declined to disclose the startup’s valuation with the new funds, but Delaware stock authorization filings uncovered by PitchBook, as well as previous reporting from Axios’ Dan Primack indicate a valuation of $300 million. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the round.
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Chicago-based Cameo emerged in 2017 and quickly popularized a new type of thank you note, at least among the Gen Z crowd. For a low price of $5 to a whopping fee of $3,000, customers pay Cameo for lightly-scripted messages from some of their favorite personalities. On the high end, messages from Snoop Dogg, a Cameo investor and member of its talent line-up, have sold for $3,000. A few words from the former basketball star and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar run for $500. And for the low price of $55, YouTube star Joe Santagato will tell your best friend happy birthday.
At about 2-years-old, Cameo’s growth is exploding. In December, the company had recorded roughly 100,000 transactions. By the end of this month, they’ll have done over 300,000, fulfilling an average of 2,000 video requests per day.
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“People use Cameo as often as they used to go to Hallmark to buy a card,” Galanis tells TechCrunch. “We have power users that have literally bought hundreds of these and we have these interesting...
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