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Genies is an avatar company founded in 2017 by Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum. The avatar company revolves around the concept of an avatar ecosystem, and has moved from in-app personalised avatars to NFTs. With avatars and the metaverse becoming increasingly mainstream concepts, Genies is definitely a company to keep an eye on due to its work in this space.
What is an avatar ecosystem?
An avatar ecosystem is a system of interconnected avatars, virtual worlds and spaces, collectibles and social experiences. It is basically a mini-world that enables individuals to manifest their ideas and represent themselves in the digital space.
What is Genies?
Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum founded Genies, an American avatar technology company, in 2017. Nigam, a University of Michigan junior studying computer science and economics, met Evan Rosenbaum, a University of Pennsylvania student. This encounter led them to co-found a company called Blend. Blend started as a social media platform where college students were gifted items for sharing photos.
After declining an acquisition offer, the duo used the Blend proprietary technology to build Genies. The new company, Genies, raised $30 million from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Foundation Capital, talent agencies and entrepreneurs.
Genies started as an app that allowed users to create personalised avatars for apps such as Instagram, iMessage and Giphy. In 2021, Genies partnered with musicians such as Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber and Cardi B, and delved into the NFT space. The company has gained 99 per cent market share for celebrity avatars, thanks to its partnerships with major label giants Warner Music Group as well as Universal Music Group. Additionally, it has a software development kit (SDK) that enables brands to create a branded avatar experience within their own app, plus an Avatar Agency.
What is the Flow blockchain?
Flow is a decentralized and developer-friendly blockchain. It is designed to be a solid foundation for Web3 apps, digital collectibles and games.
Flow’s main aim is to achieve the same performance standards as mainstream apps, without compromising its values. What makes Flow stand out from the crowd is the fact that consumers can control their data. Additionally, it empowers developers to create assets that can be traded on any market.
About Genies’ “The Warehouse”
“The Warehouse” is the official Genies NFT storefront on the Flow blockchain. The storefront, launched in August 2022, enables users to download the Genies Studio app, create avatars, and buy clothes for them.
The Warehouse is special because each item is an NFT. The NFT clothing’s creator will get a cut every time their item is bought or resold. Additionally, users can customise their purchases with in-app tools.
Upon launch, Genies collaborated with handpicked creators to make digital clothing. These include viral stars like Tati Bruening – the mastermind behind the “Make Instagram Great” campaign.
The future of Genies
According to Akash Nigam, the company is expanding into a Gen Z-driven, social media network. Additionally, former Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger joined the Genies board of directors. He also showed his support by investing an undisclosed sum in the company. Such investment and high-profile brand partnerships have undoubtedly placed Genies one step closer to becoming the go-to social media platform for Gen Z and beyond.