Genies Raises $150 Million in Series C Funding
Genies recently raised $150 million in Series C funding.
Thus, another unicorn company has been born in the meta-universe field.And the funding will be used to hire more engineering talent to build a custom avatar-based metaverse platform.
According to public information, Genies has completed 12 financing rounds since its inception, and this financing is the largest amount.
In January 2017, Genies closed a $250,000 funding round led by JoeMontana with participation from Al Dhow Capital, the support Genies received in the early stages of its development.
Genies has subsequently completed a Series A round and several venture capital rounds, with cumulative funding of $42.8 million (excluding undisclosed) as of May 2021.
During the period Genies also entered into a partnership with Bandai Namco, a leading Japanese game company, to obtain its backing for a $3 million investment and the launch of a limited edition digital outfit for the NFT series.
In May 2021 Genies closed a $65 million Series B funding round led by Bond with participation from CoinbaseVentures, Foundation Capital and others.
Genies starts 2022 with two funding roundsOne is the aforementioned Series C round, while the other is an investment by Disney CEO Robert Iger for an undisclosed amount.
Although some people still believe that the meta-universe is still an undefined future, with more and more Internet giants, technology giants entering the game, perhaps it is time to look at the meta-universe in a different light.
Genies, the world's largest avatar company, has taken advantage of the metaverse boom to become the new unicorn in the fieldSo why has this company, which wants to create a 3D QQ show, become the "new favorite" of many capitals and get such a high valuation, and what are the reasons behind it?
Who are the Genies?
Genies is an avatar technology company founded in 2017 that has been growing for nearly 5 years now, co-founded by Akash Nigam, Evan Rosenbaum, Jake Adams, and Matt Geiger, and currently employs over 100 people.
Genies uses artificial intelligence to develop custom avatar systems for usersThe system allows users to create avatars as well as personalized avatars and dress-ups based on the system.
Genies also features a feature that tracks news leads from hundreds of media outlets and generates 10-15 emoji templates per day based on these news and different holidays.
Once users have created their avatars on Genies, they can call up the generated emojis for use on other social media.
Such personalized and fun custom emojis have attracted countless young people who like to keep up with trends, and at the time of Genies' launch, it gained 680,000 user reservations.
October 2020Genies also launched its own 3D avatar products, and then it started cooperation with many European and American stars, such as Cardi b, Rhianna, JustinBieber, etc. Celebrity teams can post photos of business promotions involving avatars on social media, and Genies have gained huge attention with their influence.
Genies enables users to create their own native avatars and metaverse fashion avatar collections by launching their own 3D avatar SDKand finalize the creation of an emoji avatar library and a true social experience, thus creating a digital identity ecosystem.
According to Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies, "It's an image that comes up in order for you to be able to create anything you want to create, anything you think of, and it's like a sculpture of your personality rather than a sculpture of you as a real person."
More importantly, based on the avatars created by GeniesCreators have full ownership and commercialization rights and can use them in any way they choose.
Genies not only allows users to reveal a real self with their avatars, but also gives them complete freedom to create, and with avatars as one of the important elements of the meta-universe, Genies must be one of the best ways to enter it.
What has Genies accomplished?
At its inception, Genies' products were somewhat similar to Snapchat's 2D avatars like Bitmoji. And as its products continued to be upgraded and its partnerships with brands deepened, theGenies eventually grew to become one of the world's largest avatar companies.
Genies went live in December 2017, garnering 680,000 user bookings and reaching a $100 million valuation in three days.
In 2018, Genies launched the first Genies SDK software development kit and invited Gucci to be the first global advertising partner.
Genies users have access to "Gucciwheel", where they can buy and wear their favorite clothes for their avatar.And Gucci employees can use these avatars to showcase their own personal style.
In the less than two years that followed, Genies continued to polish its social media properties. and in October 2020, working with Unity to build its 3D avatar world, the3D launch of Avatar for celebrities and mass market using Unity Software's game engine.
Genies releases Avatar and Digital Goods SDK, enabling users to make Genies avatars into GIFs and personalized stickers that can be used on users' websites, apps and other networks.
In November 2020, Genies entered into a partnership with Justin Bieber and Amazon Music to launch that year's Christmas promotional track. And a partnership with Dapper labs is planned to integrate Genies on the Flow blockchain.
Almost at the same time, theGenies receives $3 million in financing from Bandai Namco for Asian expansion.
Before that, Genies launched GeniesMembership, a custom avatar for celebrities, artists, icons and athletes. rihann, iamcardib, JBALVIN, OffsetYRN have launched their Genies avatars.
Then in February 2021, Genies made its first attempt to put wearable digital goods on sale. Mesut Özil's $500,000 worth of digital goods for wearable devices sold out in ten minutes, and fans could collect and decorate their own Geniesavatar.
Shortly after, Genies entered into a partnership with opensea and launched NFT in conjunction with ShawnMendes.
And in April 2021.Genies launches its Discord channel, strengthening ties with the community.
Genies then launched Drop Shop, an app and marketplace offering digital accessories and wearables, to provide users with a platform for personalized NFT image creation, and partnered with Dapper labs to launch the Genies Marketplace, a marketplace for NFT digital wearables.
During this time, Genies has also been expanding its GeniesMembership program, entering into partnerships with Jake Paul, DoveCameron, Trippie Redd and a partnership with Na Music Group to create avatars for WMG musicians.
At the same time, Genies and Facebook's online GIF database Giphy reached a cooperation, so that Genies avatar has a wider application scenario.
2021.Genies has been experimenting more with celebrities and IP. Cooperate with youngthug and GunnaGunna to launch skichallenge theme.
Entered into a partnership with Pac-man to launch a limited edition wearable NFT collection to celebrate Pac-man's 41st anniversary.
And it continues to expand its Genies Membership footprint with partnerships with Migos, Russell Westbrook, LoloZouai, jaden, NATTINATASHA, Xavi Simons, AmandaNunes, Oliver Tree, WhaleShark_ Pro, Marsai Martin, Joel Corry, KIM PETRAS, and Bohan have entered into a partnership.
October 2021Genies and Decentraland collaborated on the Metaverse Carnival, provided avatars during the four-day celebration of music, culture and creativity, and conducted related NFT airdrops.
In December 2021, Genies entered into a partnership with Universal Music Group and made avatars for all of Universal Music's artists only, preparing for further forays into Hollywood.
Almost simultaneously, Genies launched its NFT marketplace "The Warehouse" in partnership with DapperLabs, and issued airdrop creators the ability to buy, sell and trade all digital accessories for 3D avatars in Genies, which will be cast on the Flow chain.
and announced at the beginning of the New Year in 2022 thatEach user has full commercialization rights to their avatar and wearable device, encouraging the trading and circulation of digital collections.
With the collaboration between Genies and more celebrities such as iann dior, Jadon Sancho, green bean and Timmy Trumpet, "The Warehouse" launched Oasis, Hyperpunk and other products.
Genies launches Genies Creator OS in February 2022, releasing a UGC wearable document that allows users to design and sell their unique digital goods in "The Warehouse".
And by this time Genies had become radiant.
March 2022 Genies was named a 2022 Best Employer for Entrepreneurship in America by Forbes and market research firm Statista.Named by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative social companies of 2022.
Former Disney CEO Robert lger joined the board of Genies and made a personal investment in it, and Genies became the focus of Wall Street buzz for a while.
And as it celebrates the Chinese New Year with the launch of its Year of the Tiger-themed wearable device, Genie closed a $150 million Series C funding round led by Silver Lake, setting the stage for a banner year in 2022.
Genies has a prominent place on its website that says "your space, your rules".
Since its inception, Genies has grown by leaps and bounds, creating important tools for the construction of future incarnations ofIts ultra-precise avatar gives ordinary people a knock on the door to the metaverse world.
We can't arbitrarily assume that Genies is the most important virtualization solution provider in the world, but there is no doubt that it will occupy a significant place in the virtualization space.
What business opportunity does Genies see?
Socialization is the biggest demand in human behavior and one of the biggest application directions of the Internet nowadays, but the current socialization is still at the stage of mainly relying on avatars to represent us and communicating with text or voice.
Interpersonal expression is limited by the presentation provided by Internet applications and all our account information is controlled by Internet giants.
But in the future, theThe metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world, we can have a richer way to express ourselves, avatars are the most direct way.
The virtual avatar is no longer limited to a 2D picture like an avatar, but a new expression of 3D stereoscopic, so that the avatar in the virtual world is like a real person in the real world, and the avatar's appearance and body can be adjusted at will.
And around the avatar, can also be derived from the avatar on the independent dress, and with offline entity well-known brands combined, for example, can launch a well-known fashion brand of virtual hat for our avatar to wear.
Another point is that avatars can provide a richer interaction, allowing us to get more realistic emotional feedback in the metaverse communication as we do face-to-face in reality.
What's more, theIn the decentralized Web3-based meta-universe, where the ownership of all avatars and a series of virtual items derived from the avatars belong to the user.
The user will really feel that the avatar is himself in the virtual world, and will feel that he is living in the virtual world, not just playing some social game on some big Internet.
Seeing the future of the meta-universe and understanding the importance of the avatar's role in it, Genies has defined its mission to empower humans to create their own digital identity ecosystem.
On the one hand, it provides users with the tools to create avatarsAny individual can create and display his or her own avatar and the derived NFT items that can be worn on the avatar.
On the other hand, Genies will also launch virtual worlds and tools to provide interactive experiencesand the user has full commercial rights to all of them.
The goal of the work done by Genies is to enable people to have real freedom when they enter the digital world, where everyone can control their identity in the digital world, which is a necessary element for the metaverse of the future.
Recent financing news about avatars has been released frequently, and avatars, as an important part of the meta-universe, are also particularly noteworthy in the capital market.
On December 28, 2021, Ready Player Me, a metaverse Avatar platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds with a consistent avatar, announced a $13 million Series A round of funding to expand its team worldwide.
On January 26, 2022, IMVU received a $35 million strategic investment from NetEase Capital and Structural Capital.
IMVU APP is a 3D virtual character social platform, which provides many different 3D virtual scenes within the platformUsers can create their own 3D avatar image in the platform and use this image to make friends in the platform; users can take photos in different scenes to share to social circles, and the platform provides shopping functions.
Feb. 21, 2022 - Soul Machines, an AI+3D avatar assistant development company, recently announced the completion of a $70 million Series B1 funding round.
This round of funding will be used primarily to drive growth in digital human/avatar technology and markets, providing interaction for virtual platforms such as the metaverse.
On April 8, 2022, Shadow Eyes Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. announced the completion of tens of millions of RMB Pre-A round of financing.This round of funding will continue to be used for team building and research and development of the underlying core technology of digital peopleThe company will explore more possibilities of digital human applications driven by smart technology.
The recent financing amount is generally relatively high, we can obviously feel the capital market attention to this direction, but the ecological pattern of virtual people has not yet formed, it is the competition stage of the horse race.
Is Genies' business model something to learn from?
When we talk about whether the Genies business model can be replicated, we need to understand what exactly stands behind the Genies business.
And as above when we talked about digital identity in the meta-universe, there is actually a very simple logic to follow.
When the Internet first became prevalent in 2000, why did companies like ICQ (the world's first instant messaging software developed by the Israeli company Mirabilis in November 1996) and QQ (born in 1999) take the lead in this wave of networking, because they solved a very fundamental problem.Replicating physical identities to the Internet.
What does it mean? Before the Internet we could only communicate by mail and phone (or pager), and the birth of the Internet gave us the basis for everyone to be connected.
In addition to providing a communication platform, MSN and QQ also identify us in the Internet through a string of characters or QQ numbers, thus solving the problem of "I am me" in the Internet.
And against the meta-universe, theWe also need a message or character to confirm our identity in the metaverse.
But this time we can't just have a symbol or a string of numbers, we need a three-dimensional, naked-eye character, and that's where Genies or avatars come in.
Therefore, with this logic, when we look at Genies' business model again, it is actually not difficult to find that if there is ICQ overseas and QQ at home in the Internet era.
So similarly, now when there are successful meta-universe identity production companies like Genies overseas, perhaps a similar unicorn company will be born in the same country.
In terms of business model, once there is a digital identity, the development of the meta-universe can only come to a booming momentIt will also bring more extremely creative ideas, which is an important reason for Genies to be favored.
If the time machine effect exists, or if historical rhymes always step on the spot, then Genies may have come to a rhyming point in history, but just as coincidentally, the story takes place on the other side of the Pacific this time, and we seem to be playing the role of followers again.
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