Celebrity-connect platform Cameo joins unicorn club after $100 million funding round

(Reuters) - Cameo, a platform that allows fans to directly interact with celebrities for a fee, said on Tuesday that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion.

The funding round, led by Jonathan Turner at venture capital firm, attracted new investors including Alphabet Inc’s investment arm GV, Inc’s Alexa Fund as well as SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2 among others.

Backed by the startup Baron App Inc, Cameo was launched four years ago and witnessed a surge in downloads after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

The paid service allows fans to interact with celebrities such as “The Office” star Brian Baumgartner and rapper Snoop Dogg through personalized video messages, live calls and direct messages, through what it calls the “connection economy”.

Cameo said it would use the funds to improve product experience, expand its footprint in new markets and introduce new products.

Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.