Avatar startup Genies hits $1 billion valuation in latest raise

Only in the current market can one wonder how a celebrity avatar startup that sells NFT accessories took so long to hit a unicorn valuation.

Genies, an LA-based digital avatar startup, announced Tuesday that it had raised $150 million in funding from Silver Lake, with participation from Bond, NEA and Tamarack Global. The round was first reported by DealBook. It follows a $65 million Series B raised last May.

The round values the startup at $1 billion.

A good deal of the startup’s momentum has come from their high-profile partnerships with a number of musician and athlete celebrities who have used the company’s avatars for social media posts and various other activations. Realizing their high investor expectations will depend on bringing in more developers to their ecosystem and expanding the user base.

Since their Series B, Genies has leaned more deeply into the web3 craze, debuting an NFT storefront with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs. The startup is looking to capitalize momentum behind NFT profile pic collections and ENS (.eth) handles to build out a network of NFT-based avatar identity products.