Trend Alert: Genies

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

A San Francisco startup has attracted big name backers as they plan to launch a virtual world by leveraging a network of social influencers.

Genies is an app where users can create their own 3D animated avatars, described as “reactive smart emojis” and “next gen digital clones.” Inside the app, they can hang out with celebrity avatars such as Drake and Obama and participate in virtual branded experiences, from binge-watching Stranger Things to travelling to Mars in a SpaceX rocket. They claim that 10,000 access codes have been given out and over a million avatars have been created since the service launched.

The business has secured $14 million in funding from backers including entertainment agency CAA, Tinder founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, and a list of Gen Z’s favourite celebrities, including singer Shawn Mendes, social media star Cameron Dallas and basketball player Russell Westbrook. Genies is also using its connections to promote the app on social media. Their Instagram profile features a series of celebrities and influencers posing with a sign saying “make my genie.”

in April, Genies announced Project Mirage, a digital world where users can interact with others via their Genies avatars. They can personalise their avatars with props and “interactive activations” inspired by content from Bing and GIPHY. Mirage has been in development for the past six months and is slated to launch this summer.

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