Bob Iger enters the metaverse
Future. Four months after officially leaving Disney, former CEO Bob Iger has found a new role on the board of 3D avatar startup Genies. After transforming the Mouse House with a slate of high-profile acquisitions (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm), Iger could make Genies one of the hottest companies of Web3 by bringing his knack for franchise-backed worldbuilding to the metaverse.
Bob Iger ditched Mickey Mouse to make his own. He’s joining Web3 startup Genies, which gives users tools to create 3D avatars, clothing, and accessories that are backed by NFTs.
- The former Disney CEO and chairman made a sizable investment into Genies and will take one of five board seats.
- In a statement, Iger said he wants to help the company “navigate its mission to empower humans to create their own avatar ecosystems (avatars, avatar fashion lines, avatar worlds, and avatar experiences) in Web3.”
- He said that what drew him to Genies was his belief that being able to create and sell virtual goods would change the entertainment industry.
The ability to create those avatars and goods based on existing IP is especially exciting, says Iger, considering he was looking to invest his time and money in companies that sat at “the intersection of technology and creativity” (he’s invested in five so far).
Iger said, “Imagine, you know, letting someone buy a Mickey Mouse avatar and customizing it in a way that not only would we never allow it before, but it was kind of hard to do in the physical world.”
A new kingdom
Genies has been on a tear since launching in 2017.
- It’s already raised $100 million in funding and has over 100 employees.
- It’s inked deals with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to turn their stables of artists into avatars and help them create virtual goods.
High-profile users include Justin Bieber (who used his avatar for a music video), Rihanna (who used hers to promote Fenty), and Paris Hilton (who used hers to perform a concert in Decentraland). But, let’s be real, all of these would pale in comparison to Mickey Mouse himself officially getting in on the action… if Disney doesn’t do it first.