Watch: Our Virtual Fireside Chat with Cameo Founder and CEO Steven Galanis

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Watch: Our Virtual Fireside Chat with Cameo Founder and CEO Steven Galanis

On Thursday, July 9th, dot.LA entertainment reporter Sam Blake hosted a one-on-one video interview with Steven Galanis, founder and CEO of Cameo, the thriving video platform featuring celebrities and influencers.

"From our estimation we believe that there are two million people in the world that are qualified influencers," said Cameo Founder and CEO Steven Galanis in a conversation with dot.LA's Sam Blake. "And probably more than in any other city on Earth, those people are in Los Angeles."


The website allows celebrities to send personalized video messages to paying fans. Cameo recruits big names, usually through social media. Other times, celebrities are referred by their friends — like the time Snoop Dogg popped in on Ice T's video.

"He ended up Face-timing me later that day and joining the platform," Galanis said. Later, he said, Snoop Dogg became an investor. These scenarios, where celebrities join by referral, make up about 55% of all Cameo bookings. To date, the company has collected over 40,000 influencers.

But how? What's in it for the celebrity? The platform acts almost as a marketplace for talent. Mainstream and niche performers alike can build their following.

"The value prop of the Cameo is that talent is getting paid to become more popular," Galanis said. "The person who receives a Cameo from you literally becomes a bigger fan of you than they ever were."

Right before Mother's Day, one customer wrote to Galanis on LinkedIn to tell him the video he bought for his wife was "the best Cameo that's ever been made." Naturally, Galanis was intrigued; the four-year-old startup has churned out over a million of these videos.

Galanis confirmed: it was the best Cameo he'd ever seen. He booked the same artist, Michael Fronti, to make one for his mom. She became an instant fan of a singer she'd never heard of. Her Facebook friends love him now, too.

Virtual Fireside Chat with Cameo Founder & CEO Steven Galaniswww.youtube.com

Cameo CEO Steven Galanis


Cameo
has emerged as the world's leading marketplace for personalized video shoutouts recently cementing roots in Los Angeles. Cameo has raised over $65 million to date; most recently a mid-2019 $50 million Series B led by Kleiner Perkins, with participation from Playa Vista-based The Chernin Group.

dot.LA entertainment reporter Sam Blake will host an in depth video discussion with Cameo's CEO on how he plans to disrupt the entertainment world and more!

https://twitter.com/frosebillington
francesca@dot.la

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Los Angeles, California
Image by Michael Bogner/ Shutterstock

We're looking for Southern California startups that have a product on the market and have raised less than $1 million in funding to pitch at dot.LA's Summit on Thursday, October 20th during the opening reception at the Petersen Museum.

Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Judges will be announced at a later time. Complete your submission here by Friday, October 7th.

Interested in attending our Summit? Register here!

dot.LA is proud to announce the 3rd annual dot.LA Summit coming up on October 20th & 21st at the Petersen Museum.

Join hundreds of top founders, investors, and operators for the largest celebration of the LA tech and startup ecosystem. The jam-packed program includes the dot.LA Awards, pitch competition, panels, workshops and more.

Please contact us with any questions.

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