Cameo, a startup that sells customized videos from celebrities, which was valued at about $ 1 billion last year, has made serious layoffs after the business slowed down.
The company has laid off 87 employees, which is about 25% of its staff. CEO Stephen Galanis reaffirmed the reduction, citing the need for the “right size” of the business after his fate was turned upside down as a result of the surge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Cameo claimed to have generated about $ 100 million in gross revenue – 4.5 times more than the previous year. Obviously, the pace of its sales has cooled considerably since then.
Among the senior executives who were fired were chief technology officer Rob Post (formerly Quibi’s technical director), product director Nunda Janakir and senior vice president of marketing Emily Boschwitz.
In a statement from Glanis to Variety, the CEO said: “To support the demand of fans and talent during the pandemic blockade, Cameo’s staff has grown from just over 100 to almost 400. We quickly hired a lot of people and market conditions have changed since then . Accordingly, we have chosen the right business to best reflect the new realities. “
Glanis continued: “The decision to cut our staff was a painful but necessary course adjustment to ensure we regain focus and gain the agility to focus on new challenges, the ability to optimize our financial resources, and the time and space to develop new ones. business. segments like Cameo for Business, Represent and web3, which we believe will be as big as the core business that put us on the map. We are committed to Cameo’s interim and long-term future, and the actions we have taken to balance our costs with our cash reserves will best enable the company to take full advantage of these opportunities for growth. ”
Last year, Cameo raised $ 100 million from investors including Amazon, Google and UTA, giving the company an estimate of just over $ 1 billion. In October, Cameo made its first acquisition: Represent, a marketing and merchandising platform in Los Angeles that develops and operates e-commerce websites for celebrity clients.
The company sells videos from more than 45,000 celebrities (and lesser-known people). Cameo says that this requires a 25% cut in sales and the rest by talent.
The list of celebrities Cameo included Cedric the Entertainer, Kenny Gee, Erin Andrews, Anthony Anderson, Kate Flannery, Ice T, Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from “Office”) and Rudy Giuliani. According to the Cameo website, current trending talent partners are David Hasselhoff ($ 499 and above for personalized video), Dolph Lundgren ($ 350 +), Stormy Daniels ($ 250 +), and Amanza Smith of Selling Sunset ($ 250 +). ) and singer Randy Travis ($ 200 +).
Just yesterday, Snap and Cameo announced a new partnership, the Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program, which will allow Snapchat video advertisers to team up with Cameo talent partners to create custom short video ads for Snapchat.