Genies, a company that creates digital avatars has just launched its eagerly awaited NFT storefront, “The Warehouse.”
Genies, well-known for its high-profile collaborations with stars like Justin Bieber, Migos, and Cardi B, most recently received a $1 billion valuation from powerful tech investors like Silver Lake and Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital during its most recent raise, a $150 million Series C round announced in April.
In order to create the storefront on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain and launch it to a select set of beta customers in December of last year, the Los Angeles-based business teamed with the company that created NBA Top Shot NFT. The Genies Studio app allows users to create their own avatars and purchase virtual clothing to dress them, according to Genies CEO and creator Akash Nigam, who spoke about the launch of The Warehouse.
According to Nigam, Genies is working with a hand-selected group of creators to produce the first set of collections that will be made available on the platform. Fashion photographer and influencer Tati Bruening, also known as @illumitati on Instagram, will release one of the first collections. Tati gained notoriety for her “Make Instagram Great Again” petition on Instagram. Users may also use the in-app tools to alter the clothing they buy, giving them the option to customize the items they buy from these collections, he continued.
He stated that because each item is an NFT, the original designer retains ownership of the design’s intellectual property and receives a portion of sales revenue from each time it is sold again. Nigam compared the 5% cost Genies charges on each sale to the 50%+ fee Meta charges for NFTs within its Horizon Worlds metaverse, noting that Genies allows producers to keep the majority of the money they make from each transaction.
Meta is also moving forward with its NFT plans; this week, it revealed that, after launching its own digital clothing service in June, users would be able to share their NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. Using digital avatars to let users create their own identities, Meta isn’t the only tech company trying to establish its own brand. In July, Reddit introduced its own NFT marketplace, and earlier this month, the Estonian startup Ready Player Me secured $56 million, with the help of a16z, for a comparable goal. Through celebrity ties and its own team, Genies is unquestionably competing in the market; the firm counts former Disney CEO Bob Iger as an investor and board member.
Initially, only verified vendors on the Genie platform will be able to introduce collections, but the business claims that its ultimate goal is to enable all of its users to produce one-of-a-kind fashion goods. Genies has previously dabbled in the fashion industry; in 2020, the business teamed up with Gucci to offer the retailer’s customers the chance to try on fresh virtual designs and purchase handpicked digital goods.
Nigam expressed optimism about the long-term demand for digital avatars, comparing them to smartphone apps in terms of their value to the internet, despite the fact that NFT sales volumes are declining and cryptocurrency prices are still low.
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