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Cameo is laying off a quarter of its workforce as growth has slowed for the celebrity greetings app, which allows users to send customized video messages by celebrities and influencers and became popular during the pandemic.

The company told employees it was laying off more than 80 staffers in the Wednesday all-hands meeting. CEO and cofounder Steven Galanis said in a statement to the outlet that the decision to reduce headcount was “painful but necessary course correction” in order to balance costs.

Galanis said 87 total employees were being cut, adding that it “has been a brutal day at the office” on his Twitter.

Cameo reps did not respond immediately to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Most of Cameo’s 350 employees had been working remotely for the Chicago-based company, which launched in 2016 and grew quickly after raising a Series C at $100 million. Its investors included Google, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The Cameo layoffs were first reported by The Information.

The cuts come after Cameo recently expanded in the last two years, including in a partnership with SoftBank in Japan to launch blockchain-based tokens through a feature called Cameo Pass for art, events and merchandise. Its headcount rapidly went from 100 to nearly 400 as business boomed during the pandemic, with Galanis saying that “market conditions have rapidly changed since then.”

Cameo makes money by taking a 25% cut of those video messages from celebrities.


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