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Former Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger Backs Metaverse Startup

Iger joins Genies, an NFT digital avatar platform as an advisor on its board of directors.

2 min read
Bob Iger. Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • Bob Iger, a longtime Disney fixture, joined NFT producer Genies
  • LA-based Genies has raised $100 million and has customer that include major record labels

Bob Iger, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, announced today on Twitter he is joining the board of directors of Genies, a digital avatar platform built on the Flow blockchain, a protocol for NFT collectibles and large-scale crypto games.

Iger served as CEO of the Disney company from 2005 to 2020. At Genies, Iger will serve in an advisory role.

"Thrilled to be joining the @genies Board of Directors to help @akashrnigam and company empower humans to create the "mobile apps of web3": avatar ecosystems," Iger tweeted.

Since launching in December 2016, Los Angeles-based Genies has raised $100 million in funding, including a $65 million round in 2021 led by Miami Group. That same year, Genies signed partnerships with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to become the official provider of avatars and NFTs for artists at the music labels.

Genies co-founder and CEO, Akash Nigam describes Genies avatars as a combination of different NFTs worn by a digital avatar that users can buy, sell and trade with other collectors.

In an interview with Decrypt, Nigam explained that after meeting Iger, he offered the mogul the chance to get "under the hood" of Genies to play with all the platform's technology and gain an understanding of what the service is all about.

"I'm learning a ton and looking forward to helping [Genies] fulfill their vision," Iger posted while showing his new digital avatar.

According to Nigam, the idea for Genies came after he encountered an avatar online, and felt that such images can encapsulate a person's feelings, emotions, and thoughts in a way that other forms of internet communication don’t achieve.

"Our goal has been to deliver avatars for the masses," Nigam says. "We believe that avatars are going to be the next form of communication."

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