Genies, Inc. (formerly known as Blend Systems, Inc.), a Los Angeles, CA-based media and technology company focused on millennials and gen z, raised $3m in a strategic funding round.
Currently, Genies, Inc. is valued at over $100M. Backers included New Enterprise Associates, CAA Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lerer Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Russell Westbrook, Management 360 Thomas Tull, strategic investors Cameron Dallas, Jake Paul, Ndamukong Suh, Worldwide Wes, Macro Ventures (Adrian Fenty and Charles King), TGZ Capital and others.
The company intends to use the funds to support the rollout of its new app called Genies.
The new rollout allows users to create personalizable look-alike and expressive emojis that react to relevant daily happenings in real-time – ranging from breaking news (politics, sports, pop culture) to cultural holidays (Hump Day, Sunday Funday, National Pet Day, etc.).
Powered by the startup’s in-house animation AI platform, a user’s Genie reacts to pieces of news by changing its expression, outfit, environment and props. The app is preloaded with hundreds of thousands of body, facial and style combinations for users to create mini clones of themselves that interact with their friends’ Genies.
Genies will update and react around 10-15 times per day and can be shared via iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Instagram direct message, Snapchat and SMS. Users also have the option to add friends into their “scene.”
Led by Akash Nigam, CEO, Genies is based in Los Angeles with offices in San Francisco and Bucharest, Romania, where over 30 people are employed.
It has raised over $15M in funding to date.