Celebrity engagement startup, HeyHey! has raised USD 1.5 million from notable investors including Electric Capital, Vector Media, Yoshimoto Kogyo. The platform was recently launched in India to provide fans with an opportunity to request personalized videos from celebrities across multiple creative fields, thereby bridging the gap between awe-filled, starstruck Indians and their favorite stars.
HeyHey!’s foray into India brings with it an appreciation of the celeb-fan relationship nuances that may differ from one market to another. Their robust roster consists of 1,200 artists globally, including famous names such as Anisha Dixit, Elnaaz Norouzi, Kaneez Surka, Evelyn Sharma, Sharman Joshi, Sarfaraz Khan, K. Gowthan, alongside regional stars like Angel Thomas, Monal Gajar, Deeksha Joshi, Ojas Rawal and more. Through their international alliances, they also have access to leading Hollywood celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Mariah Carey etc.
Caleb Franklin, Founder & CEO, HeyHey! said the internet is reimagining how fans can interact with their favorite celebrities. “At HeyHey! we are all about spreading joy, and we love seeing our users have life-changing experiences on the platform. After a successful launch in Japan earlier this year, we aim to place homegrown Indian celebrities on the world map while bringing an international roster to the Indian audience. In fact, we have already had requests for video messages from Rajnikanth from fans in Japan, and our dynamic team’s next mission is to make this cross-cultural exchange of artists with their fans a reality soon.”
Yu Sunada, Head of Japan, HeyHey! said that since accessing talents is a crucial aspect of any online celebrity video platform, the team helmed by Caleb and having a vast history in empowering talents makes HeyHey! best-placed to build and nurture a strong connection between fans and their dream celebrities in India.
Before founding HeyHey!, Caleb has had experience representing several prominent global artists from India in the writing, direction, books and production circuits. He has also spent a decade working at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he spearheaded many international initiatives that included launching CAA’s presence in India and worked with household names such as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Amish Tripathi.
HeyHey!’s rising growth into the celebrity commerce space not just provides fans and brands access to a wide range of YouTubers, content creators, actors, singers and writers, but also offers a revenue generation stream for celebrities. The tech-based celebrity tool sees significant transactions from tier-II cities such as Patna, Indore and Lucknow apart from tier-I cities like Mumbai and Pune. Considerable users have also approached from international markets such as USA, UAE and Indonesia alongside India.