Cameo Secured $28 Million In Fresh Funding Following A Challenging 2023

Cameo Secured $28 Million In Fresh Funding Following A Challenging 2023

Cameo is preparing to close its upcoming funding round.

The Chicago celebrity shoutout app is raising $28 million in a funding round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.

According to The Information, the company’s new fundraising values it at less than $100 million, a substantial decrease from its $1 billion valuation in 2021.

CEO Steven Galanis stated that Cameo was in a far better place now than it was last summer, even if he would not acknowledge the company’s new valuation in a chat with Chicago Inno on Monday.

After the 2021 highs, the venture capital market collapsed, forcing many digital startups—including Cameo—to completely rewrite their business plans as valuations fell.

“When you look at publicly traded consumer marketplace businesses, valuations plunged in a big way,” Galanis said. “The average was about 75% in valuation, and when you get to be a growth-stage company, investors are really looking at the public company comps. It just became clear we needed to cut to profitability.”

A round of layoffs that occurred in July of last year was a part of that path to profitability. Following two rounds of layoffs in 2022, the Chicago startup let go of 80 workers in 2023.

“That was a painful one, but we’ve started hiring back people that had been part of previous layoffs so we’re excited about that,” Galanis stated.

According to, almost 400,000 tech workers were impacted by layoffs between 2022 and 2023. 219 tech companies have let go of more than 50,000 workers so far in 2024.

Nevertheless, Galanis thinks the additional cash positions Cameo for success going ahead.

“The round is oversubscribed so we’ll close the whole $28 million, but we’ve so far closed like $25.7 million,” he said. “The business is profitable and has been growing for the last eight months, and we had to raise to renegotiate venture debt we had taken on a couple of years ago. It’s not that the business needed more money to scale — we needed to raise to push out the debt we have.”

In the meantime, he said, “This round sets us up extremely well in both the short-term and long-term and we feel bullish about where the business is. We have everything we need to win again and we’re excited to keep building.”