Can You Invest in Avatar Startup Genies?
Former Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger has joined the long list of high-profile investors in avatar startup Genies. Is Genies a good investment? How can you invest in the company?
Genies, founded in 2017 by Evan Rosenbaum and Akash Nigam, allows users to create personalized avatars that can be used on their social media profiles. The company has also entered the NFT space and is a play on the metaverse, which is set to boost demand for digital avatars. The company believes that, as the world goes digital, everyone will need an avatar.
How much did Bob Iger invest in Genies? A look at its funding
According to Reuters, Genies has received total funding of $100 million. There are seven lead investors in the company, and it has over 60 investors in total. Neither the company’s valuation nor Iger’s investment amount has been disclosed. However, Iger's investment was likely significant, as the former Disney CEO is joining the company’s board to offer his skills and experience.
Genies is popular among celebrities
Celebrities with a Genies avatar include Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Lil Nas X, Cardi B, Justin Bieber, and Shawn Mendes. The company claims to have a 99 percent market share in the celebrity avatar market. Big names have also invested in Genies, including Paris Hilton, Priyanka Chopra, Camila Cabello, and Mary Meeker's venture capital company, Bond and Brayer Capital.
Is Genies a good investment?
Genies' partnerships with celebrities could boost the adoption of its services. The company has also entered several partnerships, including deals with Gucci for branded digital accessories and with Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group to make NFTs.
Whereas Genies' short-term growth could be driven by demand for digital avatars from social media users, its long-term growth could be driven by the metaverse, which Roblox, Nike, Microsoft, Disney, and many other major names see as the next big thing. (Facebook even changed its name to Meta Platforms to reflect a new business strategy.) If the metaverse indeed turns out to be the future of the internet, Genies' business is bound to blossom.
How to invest in Genies
Genies might look like an attractive investment, but it's not open to all: it's a privately held company and doesn't trade on the stock market. That said, you could still invest in the metaverse through stocks such as Facebook parent Meta Platforms. The deep value stock's valuation looks reasonable and its fundamentals look strong.