Bright Raises $15 Million As It Adds More Celebrities Onto Its Platform

Bernard Mendez
Bernard Mendez is an editorial intern at dot.LA. He attends UCLA, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics. Mendez was previously an editor at the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper at UCLA.
Bright learning platform

Naomi Campbell is offering a class on being "model ready"; you can chat directly with her.

She's part of a group of celebrities — including Lindsey Vonn, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Madonna and the D'Amelio Sisters — giving livestream courses to small audiences on the celebrity-backed livestreaming platform Bright.

The Los Angeles-based startup raised $15 million to aid its quest to attract big name celebrities to its platform, it announced Thursday.

Bright sells tickets to courses held by celebrities and high-profile experts. Entrance to the class can cost anywhere from $15 to $50 and beyond per session and capacity is typically limited to under 100 people, as decided by the host.

Topics hosted on Bright range from entrepreneurship to self improvement to music. One lecture, called "Behind The Hype House," lets you hear from social media creator and Hype House founder Thomas Petrou. Actor and Entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher – also a lead investor in the company – hosts "The Perfect Pitch With Ashton Kutcher."

"All our partners share Bright's vision that people want to level up their lives by learning directly from those they admire," said co-founder and CEO Michael Powers in announcing the raise. "Through Bright, talent can better engage authentically with audiences by sharing their own knowledge and bringing their many interests and passions to the foreground."

The platform offers a chatting function to let users converse with creators, similar to fellow livestreaming platforms Twitch, Youtube and Instagram Live. But compared to those platforms, Bright's sessions are tightly scheduled, hosted by established names and limited in capacity — not to mention pricier.

The model of letting users get closer to experts and celebrities through the internet has also been piloted by platforms like San Francisco-based Masterclass, which allows people to watch tutorials and take courses hosted by professional writers, actors and chefs. That company was reportedly valued at $2.75 billion after a $225 million round of funding earlier this year.

Bright's round of funding was led by Sound Ventures, RIT Capital and Regah Ventures and included celebrities like Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann and Shawn Mendes.

With the infusion of funds, Bright launched Creator Studio, a feature allowing for instant polling and the ability to share learning materials on platform.

Bright works on the Zoom video conferencing platform. Users have to download Bright's Mac or IOS apps to attend the lectures; Bright's Android app is under construction.

The startup hopes to grab attention from celebrities by giving them a better way to reach fans. Powers, who declined a request for an interview, told dot.LA last year that hosts receive contact information from users who opt in to get updates on their courses.

"That allows the creators to then take those people to their mailing list. They can take them to their Shopify shop," he said at the time. "Whatever they have going on in their business, they can connect those people into that bigger universe of things they're doing."

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