Product Hunt Daily Digest
August 19th, 2019

The startup that pays influencers

“Cameo is lit!! Got my friend a video from Toddy Smith for her birthday and she screamed so loud i can't hear anymore” - Victoria

“This is one of the coolest apps I have a seen in a very long time. We use Cameo to reward our team members with their work anniversaries and it has been a epic success.” - Charlie

“If you want life advice, a shoutout, or just a word of encouragement from your favorite celeb, look no more.”- Jaren

Cameo, the startup that lets you book celebrities to send your friends and family personalized video shoutouts, is on a roll. The company launched in 2017, when co-founders Steven Galanis, Martin Blencowe and Devon Townsend originally set out to build the new “autograph from professional athletes,” betting on the rise of influencers on social media and selfies upon every celebrity sighting. 🤳

Today, the company has 18,000 celebrities in its arsenal —from Caitlyn Jenner to Charlie Sheen to Snoop Dogg — and has delivered more than 300,000 video requests. It’s also raised more than $65 million in venture backing. Yesterday, Cameo announced that Stefan Heinrich Henriquez, the former head of marketing for TikTok, is joining the team as CMO. 🚀

Product Hunt recently spoke with Steven (Cameo’s CEO) about their startup story, where we covered how the team first won over “talent" (celebrities), their keys to viral marketing and their crazy launch story that was *almost* a failure.

A sampling:

“We launched with one person and the first Cameo ever resulted in a reaction video. Marketplaces are always tough because it’s the chicken and the egg — how do we get fans to come if we don’t have the people they want and how do we get the talent to come if the fans aren’t here? The second we had that first reaction video, it really put the wheels in motion for acquiring more and more talent and customers.

In the summer of 2017, we hired 15 college interns and had them DM people on Instagram and Twitter all day to get talent to come on the platform. And that ended up being the secret sauce. We have 120 employees now, and probably 70-80 of them are dealing with talent. Most talent is still being sourced through Instagram or Twitter DM. It was huge because it enabled us to not go through agents or managers. Anyone in the world can DM anyone in the world. You could DM Justin Bieber and he may read it.“

Two of the co-founders give you, the Product Hunt community, a shout out on Cameo. Watch

Take me to the story

Y Combinator's S19 Demo Day(s) kicked off yesterday, and we saw a lot of new startups launch. Some to check out: 

🙌 Revel is a community for women over 50 

💯 Flo Recruit lets you gather feedback on candidates instantly

🏠 Node makes sustainable, flat-packed homes 

😻 Fad Mania is a weekly game inspired by trending memes 

💸 Compound helps you understand the value of your equity compensation 

👗 Short Story is like Stitch Fix for petite women 

👀 Hype and Vice makes fashion-forward college apparel for women 

🔍 Legacy lets you test and freeze your sperm from home 

Sponsored By

Building a product entirely in-house is hard. Trust us, we know first-hand. To take some of the pressure off we use Stream. Aside from powering Product Hunt, Stream powers the feeds and chat services for over 500 million end-users.

Stream provides you with an API for scalable feeds and chat, which ultimately helps you ship feeds and chat features faster. Stream also provides you with flexible UI component libraries that are super easy to integrate.

Learn more about Stream’s Chat API and Activity Feed API or have a look at their developer-focused interactive tutorials: Chat API tutorial ,iOS Chat Tutorial , React or React Native.