Celebrity avatar maker Genies’ latest fundraising round has netted the company a further $150m to invest meaning that the fledgling company – which it claims owns 99% market share of the celebrity avatar market – is worth over $1bn.
Genies’ avatars are super customisable caricatures with the intention being that celebrities can own, and design their own before sending it off to perform online duties at events and so on, freeing up the actual celebrity to invest their time in something more worthy.
Currently operating a blockchain-based path of expansion the company already employs 100 staff creating digital avatars that – potentially – will become a metaverse standard for portraying a user’s likeness and identity, enabling them to be known and recognised as authentic as they move between metaverses.
Users – celebrity or otherwise – can then use this likeness to – for example – promote their own clothing lines or accessory brands, host online events, take part in metaverse personal appearances, gigs and more.
Ready for the upcoming avatar explosion
“We believe avatar ecosystems are going to shape Web3 the same way that mobile apps defined Web2,” said Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies. “With every advancement of the internet, an expansive new region of entrepreneurial skill sets is born. In Web3, Gen Z avatar ecosystem builders are going to be the leaders of innovation and, through our creator tools, we strive to empower their wildest imaginations, ideas, and experiences as avatar creations.”
The company last successfully raised funds in May 2021, securing $65m while partnering with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as their official avatar and NFT provider in the sale of digital goods.
The company also attracted attention with the ‘celebrity signing’ of ex-Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger to their board recently.
Currently the company has an in-progress beta trail enabling companies to create their own Web3 ready avatars and fashions, with promised expansions to include avatar homes and full social experiences to share with the broader Web3 audience. Their recently launched The Warehouse is an avatar NFT marketplace where creators can buy and sell their creations.
Own (and monetise) your own metaverse likeness
Genies’ USP is that its users completely own their creations and the commercial rights of any subsequent property – digital or otherwise – that uses them.
“From its position as the forefront of creativity and commerce, Genies is creating endless opportunities for self-expression,” said Jamie Lee and John McCormick of investors Tamarack Global.