The company responsible for giving your favorite D-level celebrities a financial lifeline has reportedly laid off a quarter of its staff.
The celebrity hospitality service reportedly laid off 87 workers this week, representing about 25% of its total workforce, according to an employee speaking with The Information. The bad news, the employee said, came during a town hall meeting on Wednesday. Cameo CEO and co-founder Steven Galanis confirmed the layoffs in a statement sent to Gizmodo on Thursday.
“The decision to downsize was a painful but necessary course correction to ensure we regain our focus and achieve the agility needed to meet new challenges,” Galanis said.
This course correction comes after Cameo has moved forward a bit hiring spree encounter an increase demand for the platform during the pandemic. Galanis said Cameo quadrupled its workforce during the pandemic, from 100 to 400 workers. At one point, the now five-year-old company achieved a Evaluation over a billion dollars. These short-term gains were destined to collapse.
“We hired a lot of people quickly and market conditions have changed rapidly since then.” Galanis said. “As a result, we have sized the business to best reflect the new realities.”
Cameo would have fired several senior executives, including chief technology officer Rob Post, chief product officer Nundu Janakiram and senior vice president of marketing Emily Boschwitz.
These layoffs mark a sudden fall from grace for the company, which some said was “made for coronavirus.”
For those who haven’t used the service, Cameo essentially lets users pay to request personalized greetings from athletes, celebrities, musicians, and influencers. This simple premise provided a much-needed source of income for live performers who were suddenly forced out of work for months due to lockdown orders. Since its inception, Cameo has attracted a wide range of celebrities, ranging from Snoop Dog and Caitlyn Jenner for Donald Trump Jr..
Bored viewers stuck at home were more than willing to drop the cash to see their favorite stars wish them a happy birthday. According to Variety, Cameo generated $100 million in revenue in 2020, which is 4.5 times more revenue than the previous year. That same year, the company reportedly sold 1.3 million videos and added 10,000 new creators, Axios Remarks. Last year Cameo reportsrapidly raised $100 million from investors including Amazon and Google.
Looking ahead, Galanis said he was “optimistic” about Cameo’s medium to long-term future, saying the recent layoffs will allow the company to devote more resources to other smaller segments such as Cameo for Business, Represent and web3.
“The steps we have taken to balance our costs with our cash reserves will best position the business to take full advantage of these growth opportunities,” the CEO said.