Los Angeles-based Genies raised $150 million in the latest funding round to hit a valuation of $1 billion, establishing Genies as a unicorn startup.
Genies: The Genesis
Genies is one of the world’s leading startups in digital avatar technology, and the Los-Angeles based company is shaping the leading edge of Metaverse by empowering individuals to create their avatar ecosystems. It also allows creators to have full ownership and commercialization rights of their avatars and the right to use them in any way they choose.
The company on Tuesday announced it had raised a $150 million Series C round led by Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing. The funding round also saw Bond, NEA, and Tamarack Global participation; this takes the company’s valuation to over $1 billion and stamps its status as a unicorn startup.
Genies CEO Akash Nigam shed more light on the development via the company’s website in a tongue-in-cheek post reading, “Don’t worry, we aren’t going under. In fact, quite the opposite. Today we announced our $150M Series C led by Silver Lake to fuel our mission in empowering humans to create their own avatar ecosystems.”
Speaking on the Series C round, Egon Durban, Silver Lake’s co-chief executive, told DealBook, “Genies has established its leadership in Web3 with remarkable speed and focus… We’re just trying to invest in the very best technology companies. Sometimes it’s a small company like this, and other times it’s huge, large companies that need to be transformed.”
Genies $150 million funding round
The recent funding round follows a $65 million Series B raised last year. This round values the startup a $1 billion, a status some opine the startup should have reached before, considering its product offerings.
Since its Series B funding round, the company has expanded its Web3 product offerings. This includes launching an NFT storefront, The Warehouse, with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs. The Warehouse is an avatar ecosystem NFT marketplace that allows creators to buy, sell, and trade their creations. All the avatar creations are available to mint on Dapper Labs’ blockchain network, Flow.
“The new injection of capital,” Genies CEO stated, “will be used for continuous hiring across engineering and to further invest in the core technology of Genies’ avatar universe.” It will also allow the company to push its blockchain-based strategy and continue to roll out avatar creator tools that will enable users to create their avatars, avatar fashion collections, and avatar homes and experiences.
Akash Nigam shared the following, “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.”
Genies has capitalized on the momentum behind NFT profile pictures collections and ENS (.eth) handles to build out a network of NFT-based avatar identity products. This is coupled with its 99% celebrity avatar market share due to its continued partnership with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as each company’s “official avatar and digital goods NFT provider.”
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