metaverse

L.A.-based digital avatar company Genies has a plan to monetize the metaverse.

The startup announced Monday it has closed a $65 million Series B fundraise. Genies, which got its start building cartoon-like online avatars for celebrities, recently opened its platform up to anyone who wants to create their own digital "fantasy version" of themselves.

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The gaming industry is poised for further growth, even after lockdowns ease, but insiders expect its future will look far different as companies add more social and interactive features and expand their worlds beyond a single platform.

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  • L.A.-based Genies is expanding beyond creating and managing avatars for celebrities; consumers can now create their own avatars on partner platforms that use Genies' software development kit.
  • Initial partners are Gucci and Giphy, with more expected in the coming months.
  • Genies' pivot is an effort to capitalize on the 'digital goods economy' and the ascendance of the metaverse.

Justin Bieber made Crocs cool again earlier this month, when he partnered with the footwear company, known more for function than fashion, to release a limited edition pair that reportedly sold out in 90 minutes.

Imagine now that those shoes were meant to be worn not on human feet, but on the pixels of a consumer's digital avatar.

This is the vision of L.A.-based Genies, which announced Tuesday it is now integrating its avatar-creation technology into other companies' digital platforms via an updated software development kit (SDK).

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