With massive global ambitions up its sleeve, celebrity engagement start-up HeyHey! has recently raised 1.5 million USD from notable investors including Electric Capital, Vector Media, Yoshimoto Kogyo. The company’s platform has 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 favourite stars.
Having launched in key international markets like the USA and Japan, 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. Gowtham, 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, Mariah Carey and more.
While one can book a HeyHey! for any occasion, users on the platform are already experimenting in fun and unusual ways. Want to ask your colleague to trim their hair? Ask for your hoodie back from your ex? Or ask your long-time crush to the prom? Through HeyHey!, users have started requesting celebrities to ask these ‘difficult’ questions and more in a short, shareable video. Not only that but, users are also booking celeb videos to invite their loved ones to celebrate festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi together, apart from the usual wishes for birthdays, anniversaries or weddings.
HeyHey! celebrity videos make the perfect gifting solution to add a spark of excitement to important celebrations. Unlike conventional gifting options, customers can easily share the video nuggets to their social media handles with their family and extended social circle. With its expansion to India, HeyHey! aims to be a medium through which regional celebrities can interact with a wider Indian audience, especially during the upcoming festive seasons like Navratri and Diwali.
Commenting on the launch, Caleb Franklin – Founder & CEO – HeyHey! , said, “The Internet is reimagining how fans can interact with their favourite 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 fromRajinikanth 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!,added, “Since accessing talents is a crucial aspect of any online celebrity video platform, our 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 the USA, UAE and Indonesia alongside India.
Until a decade ago, the only way for an audience to know their favourite personalities personally was through televised or print interviews. The celebrity-fan engagement space in India is now seeing enormous growth potential due to the rise of social media, where online celeb interactions are becoming more intimate. Expanding to India, HeyHey! takes this a notch higher by facilitating a direct connection between fans from small towns and cities with their favourite influencers, television and regional movie stars.
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