Mr. Galanis, a 2010 Duke University graduate, recruited a fellow alumnus and software engineer, Devon Townsend, to build BookCameo.com. The website was launched in the spring of 2017, with a tweet from Mr. Marsh offering videos for around $20. Celebrities like Tori Spelling and Vine personalities such as Evan Breen joined later that year. Mr. Galanis, Mr. Blencowe, and Mr. Townsend, who are co-founders, continue to work at the company.
For Mr. Galanis and his fellow co-founders, Cameo felt like the company they were destined to create. They had previous experience in the entertainment industry, and Mr. Townsend had gained popularity on the short-lived video app, Vine.
This article is based on interviews with Mr. Galanis, as well as over 30 current and former Cameo employees, investors, and advisers. It also includes internal documents, screenshots, and photographs.
Mr. Galanis is often seen with a dark close-cropped beard and wearing polos or Cameo-branded shirts and baseball caps. He is a confident pitchman who sees himself as an ultra-connector, often referencing business leaders like Elon Musk.
He even shares a link to a college newspaper profile from his time at Duke, where he ran an events company and was referred to as “The Mayor of Main Street.” This profile provides important context for understanding Mr. Galanis’ ability to build Cameo. The article describes how he gained popularity by organizing large parties and events in local venues.