Avatars startup Genies joins unicorns with $150m funding


Genies is one of the startups hoping to persuade millions of people to create and use virtual avatars. It’s also very engaged with the music industry, having secured investment from artists including Chainsmokers and A$AP Rocky back in 2018, and then in 2021 signing partnerships with Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group.

Now Genies is raising money again: big bucks from big VC firms. It has raised $150m at a valuation of $1bn, thus joining the ranks of tech ‘unicorns’. Silver Lake led the round, with Bond, NEA and Tamarack Global chipping in. It’s a lot of money, especially considering Genies raised $65m as recently as May 2021. It should be good news for those partner major labels, although specific details remain under wraps.

At the time those deals were announced, WMG said the plan was to “produce and distribute virtual beings that facilitate fan reach across immersive platforms and metaverses”, while UMG signified ambitions to “equip artists with official virtual identities for use in Web 3.0 and the shifting age of the Internet”.

Written by: Stuart Dredge