May 29, 2019

Celebrity video startup Cameo finalizing $300 million valuation

Cameo, a Chicago-based startup that lets fans pay for personalized videos from celebrities, is finalizing a Series B investment at around a $300 million valuation, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: It does sound a bit silly to base a company on video shout-outs from Brett Favre ($500), Flavor Flav ($175), and Disco Cowboy ($2) — but the VC bet is said to be a combination of high growth (the deal was competitive) and a belief that Cameo management has a strong handle on the talent side of the ledger as opposed to just consumer behavior.

Details: Kleiner Perkins is leading, with other new investors said to include Spark Capital.

  • Cameo previously raised $18 million from Chicago Ventures, Bedrock and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
  • Kleiner Perkins and Spark declined comment, while Cameo's CEO didn't reply.

Bonus: Gilbert Gottfried singing Baby Shark to a 1 year-old.

Go deeper: TikTok rising in the U.S.

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health