How can an overseas company that produces 3D QQ shows be valued at $1 billion?

Recently, Genies completed a $150 million Series C financing led by Silver Lake, with participation from Bond, NEA, and Tamarack Global, with a valuation of $1 billion. 

At this point, another unicorn company has been born in the Metaverse field, and the financing will be used to hire more engineering talents to build a Metaverse platform based on custom avatars .

According to public information, since its establishment, Genies has completed 12 financings, and this financing is the largest amount.

In January 2017, Genies completed a $250,000 financing led by JoeMontana and participated by Al Dhow Capital, which was the support that Genies received in the early stage of development.

Subsequently, Genies has successively completed Series A financing and several venture capital investments. As of May 2021, the cumulative financing amount is US$42.8 million (excluding undisclosed).

During this period, Genies also reached a cooperation with Bandai Namco, a well-known Japanese game company, obtained a $3 million investment from its support and launched an NFT series of limited-edition digital equipment.

In May 2021, Genies completed a $65 million Series B financing, led by Bond, with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Foundation Capital and others.

At the beginning of 2022, Genies has received two financings , one is the aforementioned Series C financing, and the other is an undisclosed investment from Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Although some people still think that the Metaverse is still an undetermined future, as more and more Internet giants and tech giants enter the game, perhaps the Metaverse should be viewed from a different angle.

As the world’s largest virtual avatar company, Genies has become a new unicorn company in this field through the craze of the Metaverse , so why can this company that wants to create a 3D QQ show become the “new darling” of many capitals? And get such a high valuation, what are the reasons behind it?

Who are Genies?

Genies is a virtual avatar technology company founded in 2017. It has been in development for nearly 5 years. It was co-founded by Akash Nigam, Evan Rosenbaum, Jake Adams, and Matt Geiger. It currently has more than 100 employees.

Genies uses artificial intelligence to develop to provide users with a custom avatar system that users can use to create avatars as well as personalization-based avatars and outfits.

Genies also has a major feature that it will track news leads from hundreds of media, and generate 10-15 emoji templates every day according to these news and different festivals.

After users create their own avatars on Genies, they can use the generated expressions on other social media.

Such personalized and interesting custom expressions have attracted countless young people who like to follow the trend. When Genies was launched, it received 680,000 appointments from users.

In October 2020, Genies also launched its own 3D avatar product, and then cooperated with many European and American stars , such as Cardi b, Rhianna, Justin Bieber, etc. Celebrity teams can post commercial photos on social media featuring avatars, and Genies have used their influence to gain a huge following.

The instant success of Genies has attracted the attention of luxury brand Gucci. After the cooperation between the two parties, Genies allows individual users for the first time to create their own personalized avatars and purchase digital clothing from the brand to dress up their avatars. This is also the area where Genies uses The beginning of the gradual transition of blockchain technology from 2D to 3D.

Genies has built a digital identity ecosystem by launching its own 3D avatar SDK, which enables users to create their own native avatars and Metaverse fashion avatar collections , and ultimately create a library of emoji avatars and a true social experience.

According to Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies, “It’s an image that comes to allow you to create anything you want to create, anything you can think of, it’s like a sculpture of your personality, not you as a real person. human sculpture.”

What’s more, creators have full ownership and commercialization rights to avatars created by Genies, and can use them in any way they choose .

Genies not only allows users to show a real self through avatars, but also gives users complete freedom of creation. As virtual avatars are one of the important elements of the Metaverse, Genies must be one of the best ways to enter the Metaverse.

What are the achievements of Genies?

In its early days, Genies’ products were somewhat similar to 2D avatars like Snapchat’s Bitmoji. With the continuous upgrade of its products and the deepening of cooperation with brand owners, Genies eventually developed into one of the largest avatar companies in the world .

Genies went live in December 2017, garnered reservations from 680,000 users, and reached a $100 million valuation within three days.

In 2018, Genies launched the first Genies SDK software development kit and invited Gucci to become its first global advertising partner.

Genies users have access to a “Gucciwheel,” where users can buy and wear their favorite clothes for their avatars, and Gucci employees can use these avatars to show off their personal style .

In the less than two years that followed, Genies continued to polish its social media properties. And in October 2020, it partnered with Unity to build its 3D avatar world, leveraging Unity Software’s game engine to create 3D launch Avatar for celebrities and the mass market .

Genies releases Avatar and Digital Goods SDK, enabling users to make Genies avatars into GIFs and personalized stickers, and use them on users’ websites, apps and other networks.

In November 2020, Genies partnered with Justin Bieber and Amazon Music to release that year’s Christmas promotional song. And reached a cooperation with Dapper labs, plans to integrate Genies on the Flow blockchain.

Around the same time, Genies raised $3 million from Bandai Namco for its Asian expansion .

Before that, Genies launched GeniesMembership, a custom avatar for celebrities, artists, icons and athletes.Rihann, iamcardib, JBALVIN, OffsetYRN have launched their Genies avatar.

Then, in February 2021, Genies made its first attempt at the sale of wearable digital goods. Mesut Özil’s $500,000 wearable digital goods sold out in ten minutes, and fans could collect and decorate their Geniesavatar on their own. .

Soon after, Genies partnered with opensea and launched NFTs in conjunction with ShawnMendes.

And in April 2021, Genies launched its Discord channel, strengthening its connection with the community.

Afterwards, Genies launched an app and Drop Shop, a marketplace that provides digital accessories and wearable devices, to provide users with a personalized NFT image production platform, and cooperated with Dapper labs to launch Genies Marketplace, an NFT digital wearable device marketplace.

During this period, Genies has continued to expand its GeniesMembership program, partnering with Jake Paul, DoveCameron, Trippie Redd, and with Na Music Group to create avatars for WMG musicians.

At the same time, Genies has reached a cooperation with Giphy, an online GIF database owned by Facebook, which makes Genies avatar have a wider range of application scenarios.

In 2021, Genies will experiment more with celebrities and IPs . Cooperate with youngthug and GunnaGunna to launch the theme of skichallenge.

Partnering with Pac-man to launch a limited-edition collection of wearable NFTs to celebrate Pac-man’s 41st anniversary.

And it is still expanding the territory of its Genies Membership, and has reached cooperation with Migos, Russell Westbrook, LoloZouai, jaden, NATTINATASHA, Xavi Simons, AmandaNunes, Oliver Tree, WhaleShark_Pro, Marsai Martin, Joel Corry, KIM PETRAS, Bohan.

In October 2021, Genies partnered with Decentraland for the Metaverse Carnival , offering avatars and airdrops of related NFTs in a four-day celebration of music, culture, and creativity.

In December 2021, Genies entered into a partnership with Universal Music Group and made only avatars for all of Universal Music’s artists, preparing for further forays into Hollywood.

Almost at the same time, Genies partnered with DapperLabs to launch its NFT marketplace “The Warehouse” and distributed all digital accessories that airdrop creators can buy, sell, and trade 3D avatars in Genies, which will be minted on the Flow chain.

And announced at the beginning of the new year in 2022, each user has full commercial rights to their avatars and wearable devices, encouraging the transaction and circulation of digital collections .

With Genies collaborating with iann dior, Jadon Sancho, green bean, Timmy Trumpet and many more celebrities, “The Warehouse” features collections such as Oasis, Hyperpunk and more.

Genies will launch Genies Creator OS in February 2022, releasing UGC wearable documents, users can design and sell their one-of-a-kind digital goods in “The Warehouse”.

At this time, Genies has become brilliant.

March 2022 Genies was named a 2022 America’s Best Employers for Entrepreneurship by Forbes and market research firm Statista. Named the 10 Most Innovative Social Companies of 2022 by Fast Company .

Former Disney CEO Robert Iger joined Genies’ board of directors and made a personal investment in it, and Genies became the focus of heated discussion on Wall Street for a while.

And as it launched its Year of the Tiger-themed wearable device to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Genie completed a $150 million Series C round led by Silver Lake, laying the groundwork for 2022.

Genies wrote “your space, your rules” in a very prominent position on its official website.

Since its inception, Genies has grown rapidly, creating important tools for the construction of future avatars, and its ultra-high-precision virtual avatars provide ordinary people with a stepping stone to the Metaverse world .

We can’t arbitrarily assume that Genies is the world’s foremost provider of avatar solutions, but there is no doubt that it will have an important place in the avatar space.

What business opportunities does Genies see?

Socializing is the biggest demand in human behavior, and it is also one of the largest application directions of the Internet. However, the current socialization is still at the stage where we mainly rely on avatars to represent us and communicate with text or voice.

The expression between people is limited by the display methods provided by Internet applications, and all our account information is controlled by Internet giants.

But in the future, the Metaverse is a three-dimensional virtual world, and we can express ourselves in a richer way. Virtual avatars are the most direct way .

The virtual avatar is no longer limited to a 2D picture like an avatar, but a new expression of 3D three-dimensional, so that the avatar in the virtual world can be adjusted at will like a real person in the real world.

And around the virtual avatar, it is also possible to derive an independent dress on the avatar, and combine it with offline physical well-known brands. For example, we can launch virtual hats of well-known fashion brands for our avatars to wear.

Another point is that virtual avatars can provide richer interaction methods, allowing us to get more realistic emotional feedback in the communication of the Metaverse as if we were face-to-face in reality.

More importantly, in the decentralized Web3-based Metaverse, the ownership of all virtual avatars and a series of virtual items derived from the avatars belongs to the user .

The user will really feel that this virtual avatar is himself in the virtual world, and will feel that he is living in the virtual world, not just playing some social games on a large Internet.

Genies sees the future of the Metaverse and understands the importance of virtual avatars playing a role in it, so Genies has determined that its mission is to empower humans to create their own digital identity ecosystem.

On the one hand, it provides users with avatar creation tools , and any individual can create and display their own avatars and derived NFT items that can be worn on the avatars.

Genies, on the other hand, will also launch virtual worlds and tools to provide interactive experiences , and users have full commercial rights to all of these.

The work that Genies does, the goal is to enable people to have true freedom once they enter the digital world, where everyone can control their identity in the digital world, and this is the necessary element of the future Metaverse.

Recently, news about the financing of avatars has been released frequently. As an important part of the Metaverse, the performance of avatars in the capital market is particularly noteworthy.

On December 28, 2021, Ready Player Me, the Metaverse Avatar platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds with a consistent avatar, announced that it has secured $13 million in Series A funding to expand its team globally.

On January 26, 2022, IMVU received a strategic investment of US$35 million from NetEase Capital and Structural Capital.

IMVU APP is a 3D virtual character social platform. The platform provides a variety of different 3D virtual scenes . Users can create their own 3D virtual characters on the platform, and use this image to make friends on the platform; users can create their own 3D virtual characters on the platform. Take photos and share them in social circles, and the platform provides shopping functions.

On February 21, 2022, Soul Machines, an AI+3D virtual avatar assistant research and development company, recently announced the completion of a $70 million B1 round of financing.

This round of financing will be mainly used to promote digital human/avatar technology and market growth, and provide interaction methods for virtual platforms such as Metaverse.

On April 8, 2022, Shadow Eye Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. announced the completion of tens of millions of yuan in Pre-A round of financing. This round of funds will continue to be used for team building and the research and development of the underlying core technology of digital people , exploring the development of intelligent technology driven by More possibilities for digital human applications.

The recent financing amount is generally relatively high. We can clearly feel that the capital market attaches great importance to this direction. However, the ecological pattern of virtual human has not yet been formed, and it is the competition stage of staking.

Can Genies’ business model learn from it?

When we talk about whether Genies’ business model can be replicated, we need to understand what is behind Genies’ business?

And as we talked about digital identities in the Metaverse above, there is actually a very simple logic to draw on.

When the Internet just became popular in 2000, why did ICQ (the world’s first instant messaging software developed by Israeli company Mirabilis in November 1996) and QQ (born in 1999) become the forerunners of this wave of networking, because they Solved a very fundamental problem: replicating physical identities to the Internet .

What does that mean? Before the Internet, our communication could only be achieved by mail and telephone (or pager), and the birth of the Internet has brought us the foundation that everyone can connect with.

In addition to providing communication platforms, MSN and QQ also use a string of characters or QQ numbers to determine our identity in the Internet, thus solving the problem of “I am me” in the Internet.

For the standard Metaverse, we also need a message or character to confirm our identity in the Metaverse.

But this time, instead of just a symbol or a string of numbers, we need a three-dimensional, visible character, and this is the role of Genies or virtual humans.

Therefore, with this logic, when we look at the business model of Genies, it is not difficult to find that if there is ICQ overseas in the Internet era, there is QQ in China.

So in the same way, when there is a successful Metaverse identity production company like Genies overseas, maybe a similar unicorn company will be born in China.

In terms of business model, once there is a digital identity, the development of the Metaverse will usher in a moment of vigorous development, and it will also bring more creative ideas, which is also an important reason why Genies is favored.

If the time machine effect exists, or the rhythm of history always hits a point, then Genies may have come to a rhyme point in history, but it is just as coincidental that the story takes place on the other side of the Pacific this time, and we seem to have to play the role of following role of the person.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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