Memmo.me, a startup allowing users to pay celebrities for personalized video messages, is announcing that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding.
“We’re really excited about our mission to break down these barriers [and help talent] connect one-to-one instead of one-to-thousands,” said co-founder and CEO Gustav Lundberg Toresson.
He added that celebrities are embracing this as a new source of income. It’s particularly appealing during the pandemic, but he predicted that celebrities will still be excited about “making this much money from their living rooms” after the pandemic ends.
The concept probably reminds you of Cameo (indeed, Carole Baskin of “Tiger King” fame has a presence on both platforms), but while Cameo is U.S.-based, memmo was founded in Stockholm, and Lundberg Toresson said its strategy is both global and localized — the company is currently operating localized marketplaces for Sweden, Germany, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Canada, as well as a general global market.
“We want to be the place where you can find everyone, from world-famous talents like a soccer or basketball star, to the local musician down the road,” he said. “It’s all about using localization to help you find who’s most relevant for you, wherever you are.”
The startup says it has been used to send more than 100,000 messages globally, and that sales grew 50% every month between July of last year and January 2021.
The round was led by Left Lane Capital, with the firm’s founder and managing partner Harley Miller joining the memmo board. Delivery Hero co-founder Lukasz Gadowski, FJ Labs, Depop CEO Maria Raga, Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff, former Groupon operations director Inbal Leshem, Voi Technology co-founder Fredrik Hjelm, former Udemy CEO Dennis Yang and Wolt co-founder Elias Aalto also participated.
“We’ve been impressed with the pace at which Memmo has expanded their offering across markets, where localization is critical to unlocking marketplace liquidity,” Miller said in a statement. “The ability to monetize the gap between wealth and fame for talent & celebrities, all the while allowing them to engage deeply with fans, is a trend that was only further underscored by the pandemic.”
Although Left Lane is based in New York, Lundberg Toresson said he was particularly excited about the firm’s marketplace expertise, and that its investment does not signal an imminent U.S. launch.
Memmo has now raised a total of $12 million. The new funding will allow the startup to add new features like live videos and to build out its business offerings, where companies can hire celebrities to create promotional videos for external marketing or internal employee motivation.