Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies, made an appearance on Jason Calacanis’ popular entrepreneur program This Week in Startups, talking about the next wave of NFTs, avatar tech, and where those two intersect. Akash was typically enthusiastic about the company and its journey, from its humble beginnings as an office in San Francisco to an international brand working with the biggest names in sport and music, collaborating with household name companies like Gucci and Bandai Namco. Akash spread the word about the potential and power of an avatar that could cross social media platforms, provide new marketplaces and opportunities for digital artists, and a means to ‘mainstream’ the buying and selling of nonfungible tokens (NFTs). While the notion of digital collectibles has already permeated the tech-savvy and extremely online demographics common to Gen Z and millennials, any long-term growth strategy for non-fungible tokens must open the tech out to other users. That kind of saturation requires a breakthrough app to sell the concept of personalizing online presence via commodifiable digital assets, as Facebook sold the concept of social media to the general public when it reached 500 million monthly active users in 2010. Genies, as a platform-agnostic third-party application in the tech company scrum, is positioning itself to be that ‘killer app’.
Which Companies Will Hop Aboard the NFT Bandwagon Next?
As more and more of Los Angeles cottons on to the fact that there is big money to be made in digital goods, entertainment industry giants and investors alike are pouring capital into viable companies. Venture capital firm Bond led a Series B funding round for Genies that culminated in May, raising an impressive $65 million. Genies has built on this success by rapidly building out more of its NFT strategy: wearable collectibles in the professional sports and video game verticals. With the impending completion of its proprietary NFT marketplace later this year, Akash’s stated goal is for hundreds of collaborations with entertainment companies and others to sell digital goods specifically for Genies to sport as they wander from platform to platform, representing the unique tastes of each user, whether they are a Gucci connoisseur or a Fenerbahce SK superfan. With the low outlay and high potential for massive return on investment, there are few barriers to entry for companies joining the wave of NFT adoptees.