Laid off
Representative image of widespread tech layoffs. Markus Winkler/Pixabay


  • Galanis said Cameo believed the 2022 reductions already worked, but growth continued to slow
  • At least 80 employees would reportedly be affected by the new round of cuts
  • Cameo hit unicorn status in 2021 after securing total funding of more than $165 million

Celebrity shoutout app Cameo will reduce its workforce again in another round of layoffs after it cut more than 80 staff last year. The Chicago-based startup reached unicorn status in 2021 after a funding round that involved SoftBank and other venture capital firms.

The company told employees Tuesday that it was eliminating at least 80 roles due to financial pressures, The Information first reported, citing two former employees affected by the cuts. Cameo, which allows users to order video greetings from celebrities, is now left with fewer than 50 workers, according to the outlet.

Asked by International Business Times about the reported layoffs, a representative neither denied nor confirmed the details, only providing a statement from Cameo co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis that did not mention the number of affected employees.

"Cameo has made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our team in order to adjust to the worsening macroeconomic environment," Galanis said in a statement sent via email.

The company's last known layoffs were in May 2022, when 87 employees were let go, as first reported by The Information. Galanis told the outlet at the time that the cuts were "painful but necessary." He also confirmed the layoffs on Twitter, saying it was "a brutal day" for Cameo.

Addressing the previous layoffs, Galanis said in the Tuesday statement that the company "believed we right-sized our business with our last reduction but as the economic conditions continue to slow growth, Cameo will sharpen its focus with a more streamlined team."

Moving forward, Galanis said the company remains confident in its mission of building "a frictionless marketplace that enables talent to connect with fans and brands through the authentic, personalized experiences that first put Cameo on the map."

Before last year's layoffs, Galanis said Cameo had nearly 400 staffers during the pandemic, Variety reported. He admitted that the startup "hired a lot of people quickly." Market conditions have changed since then, leading to right-sizing measures at the company.

Cameo hit unicorn status in March 2021 after the company announced total funding of more than $165 million following a $100 million Series C funding round that included big-time investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Amazon's Alexa Fund and Counterpoint Global.

The company said at the time that it was looking to invest in improving the Cameo experience, developing new products, reaching new customers and integrating into new markets using the fresh funds.

Layoffs at Cameo are the latest in the wider tech reckoning that has affected 873 tech companies worldwide, as per data from layoffs tracker As of Tuesday, nearly 220,000 tech employees have so far lost their jobs in 2023.

Other tech companies with reported layoffs over the past week include crypto exchange Binance, edtech company Skill-Lync and software companies Sisense and Matterport.