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Avatar Platform Genies Now Worth $1B After $150M Series C Round

Genies, which has an NFT marketplace on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain, is promising users “full commercialization rights” over characters.

2 min read
Genies launched on Flow, the blockchain that hosts NBA Top Shot. Image: Genies

A new unicorn has emerged in the metaverse space.

Tech startup Genies has raised $150 million in a Series C round led by Silver Lake that now values the company at $1 billion.

In a blog post, Genies CEO Akash Nigam said the funding allows the company to keep “building out the vision,” which is to develop a custom avatar-based metaverse platform for Gen Z. Avatars are digital representations of users that appear in video games or on social networking sites.

Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban has high hopes for the platform.

“They make it possible for people to build the avatar ecosystems that we believe will drive the next evolution of human expression, communication, and creativity,” Durban said in a statement.

In December, Genies launched an invite-only (for now) NFT marketplace called “The Warehouse” on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain, a proof-of-stake chain designed to support NFT projects and play-to-earn games

NFTs are unique tokens that exist on a blockchain like Ethereum or Flow and signify ownership, typically over an image or 3D asset. 

Genies has been working on its avatar platform for some time, and forged exclusive partnerships with Warner Music and Universal Music Group last year to make virtual avatars and digital, wearable NFT items centered on the labels’ artists.

With its new unicorn status, Genies has positioned itself to be the Web3 competitor to games like Roblox, where Gen Z users create and dress up virtual avatars, engineer their own “experiences,” and buy other young creators’ virtual goods with real currency.

But unlike Roblox, Genies is leaning into the principles of Web3, promising each user “full commercialization rights” over the characters they create, dress, and house. As the Web3 metaverse surges onward, Genies may soon find itself competing with The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Ready Player Me among leading NFT integration platforms.

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