Former Disney chief Bob Iger enters metaverse through investment in Genies

(Reuters) – Former Disney chairman Bob Iger is investing and joining the board of metaverse startup Genies, the company said on Monday, in the executive’s first such move since leaving the entertainment giant at the end of 2021.

Genies, popular among celebrities such as Rihanna, Lil Nas X and Jennifer Lopez, said it owns 99% of the celebrity avatar market share and includes Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as clients, for whom it also makes NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

“I’ve always been drawn to the intersection between technology and art, and Genies provides unique and compelling opportunities to harness the power of that combination to enable new forms of creativity, expression and communication,” said Iger, who has spent more than a decade in Disney.

Iger was the CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020 and stepped down as chairman last year.

Genies has raised $100 million so far from venture capital investor Mary Meeker’s firm Bond and Brayer Capital, among others.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)