Last month, the Metaverse Insider featured an article about Ready Player Me, a startup designing cross-game avatars specifically for the Metaverse. In this exciting world of Web3, Ready Player Me is one of the trailblazers in this sector of avatar creation.
More good news for the industry came earlier this week when Epic Games — a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology — announced a $2 billion funding round to build on the company’s ultimate goal of constructing the Metaverse while, at the same time, supporting its own continued growth.
This investment signifies how much gaming will be integral to the overall development of the new paradigm.
And as avatars are such an important part of online gaming now, this is positive news for startups like Ready Player Me and others like Genies, the world’s largest avatar technology company.
Bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture through its mission to own the “virtual being identity layer”, Genies — a Los Angeles, California-based company founded in 2017 by Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum — has set the foundation for swift, widespread adaptation of avatars as virtual beings in society through its consumer-first future vision coined “Decentralized Disney of the metaverse.”
But not only that, on Tuesday Genies announced a $150 million funding round led by Silver Lake. It follows a $65 million Series B raised last May.
The round values the startup at an amazing $1 billion.
Since it was founded in 2017, Genies has raised a total of $202 million in funding over 14 rounds and is backed by the likes of Bond (Mary Meeker), NEA (Rick Yang), Breyer Capital, CAA, and Tull Investment Group as investors.
Genies is all about providing consumers and celebrities with the tools needed to create high-quality avatars, enabling anyone to own their digital identity and express themselves across metaverses. The technology features an avatar wearables/skins marketplace built with Dapper Labs, API integrations, and a consumer app.
Design and Create Avatar Ecosystems
CEO and Co-Founder of Genies is Akash Nigam. Prior to founding Genies, Nigam co-founded and was CEO of Blend, as well as General Partner and Founder of Humans, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies.
Nigam dropped out of the University of Michigan as a Computer Science and Economics major. And it was a good job he did, as otherwise, Genies may never have come about.
Evan Rosenbaum is Genies’ other Co-Founder. Like Nigam, Rosenbaum was involved with both Blend and Humans.
Rosenbaum obtained a BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“An avatar is a vehicle to be able to showcase more of your authentic self. It’s not limited by real-world constraints, it’s an alter-ego personality.”
— Genies CEO Akash Nigam in a TechCrunch interview
Impressively, Genies has a 99% celebrity avatar market share through its partnerships with Universal Music, Warner Music Group, NFLPA, MLBPI, NBPA, and individually with thousands of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, Migos, Cardi B, and J Balvin.
The world of avatar creation is growing by the day. With the help of the Metaverse, this is set to grow exponentially, creating a market ready for Genies’ IP.