Bob Iger, the former CEO and chairman of the US diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate Disney, has made a personal investment in Genies, a digital avatar technology company, followed by joining the board of the Los Angeles-based metaverse firm.
Iger, who stepped down as chairman of Disney last year, has joined the Genies board. Therefore, the executive will work alongside other Genies board members, including Bond’s Mary Meeker, NEA’s Rick Yang and Genies co-founders Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum.
Iger is a new investor in Genies. Other investors in the company include Breyer Capital, Bond Capital, and New Enterprise Associates.
Iger talked about the development and said:
“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies provides unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of that combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication. I am very excited about the company’s vision, and I look forward to working with the entire team. I will help Genies navigate its mission to empower humans to create their own avatar ecosystems (avatars, avatar fashion lines, avatar worlds, and avatar experiences) in web3.”
Iger was the CEO of Disney for fifteen years (from 2005 to 2020) and stepped down as the company’s chairman last year. While Iger was the head of Disney, he spearheaded the acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Entertainment and the launch of the streaming platform Disney+.
Increasing Access for Wearable Digital Goods
Genies is a California-based mobile app company that allows users to clone themselves. Founded by Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum in 2017, the US avatar technology firm continues to build digital avatars for people and communities.
Genies consumer app allows users to create fully personalized avatars to be used in apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, iMessage, Giphy, and many more. Genies also provides a software development kit (SDK) that enables businesses to create their branded avatar experience and online marketplace directly in their apps. The firm also owns an Avatar Agency that creates digital versions of its customers.
Last May, Mary Meekeer joined the Genies board when she led a $65 million Series B investment round into the metaverse company. EA, Breyer Capital, Tull Investment Group, NetEase, Dapper Labs and Coinbase Ventures also participated in the funding round.
In 2021, Genies started offering non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in partnership with celebrities such as musician Shawn Mendes, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, among others, to be their official avatar and digital goods NFT provider. Besides such targeted opportunities, Genies has also started rolling out mass consumer avatar tools in beta.
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