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."
- Bright Users Can Take Live Classes From 200 A-Listers - dot.LA ›
- Emile's Short-Form Videos Help You Prep For Your AP Test - dot.LA ›
- The Skills Sports Platform Raises $5 Million Seed Round - dot.LA ›
The L.A.-based company that operates short-form social video platform Triller is launching a subscription service for live events.
"TrillerPass" will cost $29.99 per month or $299.95 per year and include live footage from Triller Fight Club (boxing), TrillerFest (concerts), Verzuz (rap battles) and BIG3 (basketball).
Subscribers will also have access to VIP sections at in-person events, including the June 19th boxing title fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos in Miami. Those who cannot attend the event in person will be able to stream the fight for free, which would otherwise cost $49.99.
TrillerNet's recently appointed CEO Mahi de Silva told dot.LA that the short, TikTok-esque clips on the Triller app "can be parlayed into more long-from experiences," including live events.
"We wanted to create a simple subscription plan with access to all the amazing live Triller events around the country and give them access to our PPV offering if they can't attend in person," de Silva said in a statement.
Triller first ventured into live boxing in partnership with Fite TV when it hosted a Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight in November, for which it charged $49.49 and reportedly raked in over $80 million in revenue. In April TrillerNet acquired Fite TV and charged $49.99 for a fight card headlined by Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren.
In March, Triller acquired Verzuz, a rap battle platform that began its life on Instagram. In June, it agreed to a joint venture deal with BIG3, a three-on-three basketball league founded by rapper Ice Cube.
Leading up to the June 19th Lopez-Kambosos fight, TrillerPass members will be able to attend an in-person Verzuz battle on June 16th between rappers Eve and Trina in Miami, and on the 18th they are invited to a party where Snoop Dogg will be in attendance.
TrillerPass will also provide users with archived content, including the Tyson-Jones and Paul-Askren fights, and footage from the TrillerFest music festival held in Miami earlier this year.
Jonny Halprin loves live events. By his own estimate, Halprin has attended the last eleven Outside Lands festivals, and he longs for savoring a beer and hotdog at Dodger Stadium. With California set to finally open back up and live events scheduled to return later this month, Halprin is gearing up—and now not just as a fan, but also an entrepreneur.
Halprin is the CEO and co-founder of Fanimal, a nascent ticketing platform that claims to offer the lowest prices on the resale market and uses proprietary tech to make it easy to purchase tickets for groups.
The idea for Fanimal originated on a 2018 vacation hike in the Italian Alps that Halprin took with Sam McClure, a recent Stanford Law grad who already knew he didn't want to keep practicing. Halprin had recently left his job as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group. Talking about their love of live music (both were regulars at Coachella), they hatched an idea on the trip to create a ticketing service that would undercut market leaders SeatGeek, StubHub and Vivid Seats and take on an industry they feel charges too much, causes too much hassle and has been too slow to innovate.
"There's no reason why StubHub should be taking a 30% fee for just being this little software middleman," said Halprin.
The two founded their new company at the end of 2018 and went full-time in May 2019. They brought on Dave Galbraith as a co-founder, raised a $600,000 pre-seed round, and relocated to Los Angeles at the end of 2019 before launching Fanimal at the start of 2020. When live events shuttered they continued developing their product and raised a $1.4 million seed round in December, which they used to double their team to six and lease a Santa Monica office.
Fanimal's appeal for music and sports fans isn't hard to see. Whereas most ticketing companies charge around a 30% markup, Fanimal tacks on 5-10%, depending on the event. The company also has built a feature to make it easier to purchase tickets for groups. "Something like 97% of ticket purchases are for multiple tickets," Halprin said, "but the only ways to buy tickets are this single-player mode where you have to be acting as an individual but trying to coordinate a larger thing."
In response, Fanimal's patent-pending tech allows fans purchasing tickets to select their group size, and gives them a specified timespan to fill those slots. If they go unfilled, the purchaser is totally off the financial hook.
Making group purchases easier also helps Fanimal keep its prices low, since the feature saves them on customer-acquisition costs.
"We have friends inviting other friends," said Halprin. "Our average group size is six people, which means we're kind of getting six customers for the price of one."
Before launching, Fanimal went through the Pear Accelerator, whose alumni include Dropbox and DoorDash. In the two months between its launch and the onset of lockdowns, Fanimal turned a couple hundred thousand dollars in sales, Halprin said.
The company's December pitch to investors – for a live-events company staring into the abyss of an unrelenting pandemic – was that its competitors had been hampered, giving Fanimal time to catch up by further refining its product.
As the threat of the virus abated and live events went on sale, purchases resumed. Revenues in March, April and May were $110,000, $135,000 and $180,000, respectively, Halprin said. He's expecting those numbers to continue rising, but says the lingering uncertainty around live events makes forecasting tricky.
As governments continue refining their COVID-19 guidelines, many venues are still trying to determine the best way to work within however those parameters shake out.
Rachel Moore, CEO of The Music Center, the downtown L.A. home of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, says venues and performance groups are gearing up to learn by trial and error what precautions will both fit within governmental guidelines and best align with the comfort levels of their audiences.
"All we can do is share with everybody that we've made it as safe as possible," Moore said. "Then that's going to have to be their own journey."
Ultimately it will be the fans who determine which artists, venues – and which startups – reap the rewards of the return of live events.
- What Will Happen to Livestream Concerts? - dot.LA ›
- MK Reactors Went from Live Concerts to COVID Disinfection - dot.LA ›
- Are Livestream Concerts Music's Future or a Pandemic Fad? - dot.LA ›
- LA's Music-Tech Startups Are Poised to Reshape the Industry. - dot.LA ›