Bob Iger, the former CEO of Walt Disney Company, is investing in the metaverse. Iger has put money into Genies Inc., a firm that creates virtual characters for virtual worlds. He’ll also join the Los Angeles-based company’s board of directors.
According to an announcement made on Monday by the metaverse start-up, Iger has joined the board of directors of Genies, a 3D avatar start-up based in Los Angeles, and has invested an unknown figure in the company. Genies’ mobile software, which was launched in 2017, allows users to build bespoke digital avatars – three-dimensional cartoon copies of themselves – for social media profiles and, perhaps, to roam the metaverse.
The 5-year-old start-up stated that it will rely on Iger’s aid to grow the company as it seeks to establish “avatar ecosystems” where users can establish everything from digital fashion lines for avatars to online worlds where those avatars can interact, according to a press release.
In a statement, Genies co-founder and CEO Akash Nigam, 29, praised Iger’s engagement, saying that he couldn’t envision a finer innovative and product thinker to work with than Iger. In a statement, disclosing his role at Genesis, the former Disney CEO said,
“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies provides unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of that combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication.”
Iger’s journey post Disney
Bob Chapek took over as CEO of Disney after Iger stepped down in 2020. Iger also stepped down from the Disney board of directors at the end of 2021. After resigning, the former Disney executive has expressed an interest in Web3, the next generation of the internet, and the concept of a metaverse.
According to a podcast from January, Iger stated that the next edition of the web will “surely be more appealing in terms of experience, perhaps more immersive, and certainly more dimensional. A company like Genies is counting on that kind of metaverse experience. The goal of the company is to build a global avatar system that can be used across an open metaverse, according to its website.
Furthermore, Genies has also partnered with brands such as Gucci to create branded digital things, as well as launching a marketplace for digital accessory NFTs — think apparel, shoes, and backpacks for those avatars.