Former Disney chair Bob Iger invests in metaverse company Genies

Former Disney CEO and executive chairman Bob Iger.
Former Disney CEO and executive chairman Bob Iger.
(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger is putting money into the metaverse.

Iger has invested in Genies Inc., a company known for making virtual characters for virtual worlds. He will also join the board of the Los Angeles-based startup.

Genies allows customers to create digital avatars and virtual fashion lines for Web3 — tech jargon for a new version of the internet based on blockchain technology.

Iger was CEO of Disney for 15 years before becoming executive chairman in February 2020. At that time, Bob Chapek became CEO. This investment is among the first of Iger’s post-Disney endeavors.

Iger retired from the company at the end of last year after a career of making key acquisitions — including Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm — that made Disney a dominant force in entertainment and later a major player in streaming with Disney+.


“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,” Iger said in a statement.

Iger posted an image of his own Genies avatar to his Twitter account.

Much speculation has swirled about Iger’s post-Disney pursuits. He has long been interested in owning a sports franchise. In late 2020, he backed an animal-free dairy alternative company called Perfect Day.

Iger is the latest Hollywood player to show interest in the so-called metaverse, which Chapek has said is an area of potential for Disney.

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Founded in 2017, Genies has raised $100 million to date from investors including Mary Meeker’s Bond, New Enterprise Associates and Breyer Capital.


The company inked partnerships with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as their “official avatar and digital goods NFT provider” and has made digital images of stars including Justin Bieber, Migos and Cardi B. that are tracked as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

Genies also has an NFT marketplace called “The Warehouse” that lets talent and creators design and sell their avatars.