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NFL linebacker Cassius Marsh was Cameo’s first celebrity investor

June 19, 2022, 12:30 PM UTC

Cassius Marsh is known as a journeyman NFL athlete, playing for seven teams across eight seasons in the league.

He’s taken on more celebrity status in recent years thanks to his extreme passion for the trading card industry, even opening a trading card shop, Cash Cards Unlimited, in Southern California last year, which has exploded in popularity.

But the Westlake Village store isn’t Marsh’s first foray into business. Marsh was actually the first-ever investor in the popular celebrity video messaging app Cameo, and he owns a 1% stake in the company.

According to Cameo, Marsh was part of the reason that the company was started in the first place. He put together a video for one of Cameo’s cofounders, Martin Blencowe, and his friends, who are Seahawks fans, and Marsh was playing for Seattle at the time. Marsh put together a video congratulating the friends on their first child, and their positive reaction was the reason that Cameo was started.

Marsh recently shared more with Fortune about why he invested in the company.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cassius Marsh (49) runs off the field against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Eric Hartline—USA TODAY Sports via Getty Images
  • Startup: Cameo
  • Location: Chicago
  • Year founded: 2017
  • Valuation: $1.3 billion
  • Investment level: Series C
  • Number of employees: 400 to 500
  • Other major investors: Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins, Spark Capital, Chernin Group, Origin Ventures

Why he invested, in his own words

I’ve made some investments that haven’t worked out over the years, but Cameo is absolutely one of the bright spots. I’ve been a part of it since the beginning, and I’m happy to still be involved now because I know there’s even more potential for growth with this company. We knew Cameo had potential from the start, and we love the direction that it’s currently headed in. With the network Cameo has established, this has the potential to be even bigger and greater than we ever thought it would be at the start.

I’ve learned a ton since my initial investment in Cameo, and the success I had with that actually helped pave the way for me to dive into entrepreneurship. As athletes, we’re capable of more than a lot of us think. Being around successful people and seeing the business side of things also helped set me up for success with my own business, Cash Cards Unlimited.

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.