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Former Disney CEO Bob Iger talks about why he invested in the Metaverse, Genies

Former Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger is putting his name and money behind a new company that aims to dominate the future of the internet and metaverse.

On Monday, the fairies start a 3D avatar announce That Iger is joining his board of directors and investing an undisclosed amount in a Los Angeles-based company. The Genies mobile app, founded in 2017, allows users to create their own digital avatars – 3D cartoon versions of themselves – for their social media profiles and, eventually, travel across the metaverse.

In a press release, the 5-year-old startup said it will rely on Iger’s help to grow the company, as it looks to build “avatar ecosystems” where users create everything from digital fashion lines for avatars to online worlds in which they can interact. With her those avatars.

Genies co-founder and CEO Akash Nigam, 29, described Iger’s involvement in a statement, saying he “can’t think of a better creative and product thinker than Bob to collaborate with.”

Iger spent 15 years as CEO of Disney, starting in 2005. During that time, he oversaw the heavyweight company Investments in technologyand paid more than $ 7 billion to Get Pixar In 2007 and emphasizing the development flow And the Augmented Reality Technologies throughout the company.

“Always drawn to the intersection between technology and art, Genies provide unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of this blend to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication” at Genies, said Iger in a statement announcing his role.

Iger stepped down as CEO of Disney in 2020, and was succeeded by Bob Chappk. Iger too Leave the Disney board at the end of 2021.

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Before he resigned from the Disney board of directors in December, Iger spoke with CNBC about how new technologies regularly disrupt the ways media giants like Disney tell stories — perhaps more now than when he took over Disney in 2005.

“In fact, this scenario for a world in which there is technology that enables more storytelling today is probably more than that,” Egger said.

Since stepping down, the former Disney CEO has hinted at his interest in the development of the Internet – sometimes called “Internet 3.0” or “Web 3.0” – The concept of metaverses. In January, on Kara Swisher’s “Sway” podcast, Iger said that the next iteration of the web “will definitely be more compelling in experience, certainly more immersive and more dimensional.”

He added that there will be not only one aspect, but many digital worlds ready to be explored, and that users’ avatars will play an important role as they jump from point to point. “I’m talking about democratization,” he said. “You will be distracted.” “You may have an avatar, but you’ll go all over the place. And I think it could potentially be developed into something real as an experiment.”

This is exactly the kind of metaverse experience that a company like Genies relies on. The startup says its goal is “creating a global avatar system that can be used across an open metaverse.” Already, many companies are promoting their future metaverse offerings, from dead (formerly known as Facebook) and Microsoft to Roblox, and yes, Disney.

Genies has raised a total of $100 million in funding from venture capital backers such as Bond and Breyer Capital, according to Reuters. The company has also partnered with a long list of celebrities, creating online avatars for the likes of musicians Justin Bieber, Cardi B and Shawn Mendes.

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Genies also collaborated with Brands like Gucci On branded digital items and has launch a market For digital accessories NFTs – think clothes, shoes, and backpacks for those avatars.

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