Evan Rosenbaum fully expect his tech startup – Genies, Inc. – to drive Bitmoji to obselence in the not-too-distant future. In Dec. 2017, they launched a beta version of Genies, a novel mobile app for Millennials and Gen Zers to create personalized avatars of themselves. Unlike Bitmoji, where most users look the same, Genies creates differentiated emoji identities — unique in both physical appearance and personality. Such online uniqueness is possible because Genies provides more than 1,000 tools for users to create their avatar identities, express how they’re feeling in real time, and in an industry first, talk to one another through their avatars. With Genies beta, users reacted to news developments and holidays, sharing their emotions and personalities via their avatars on Instagram, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and other social media. In just four months, through the end of the test phase in April 2018, more than 1 million avatars were created. In that period, users spent an average of nearly 20 minutes to build their avatars. The two-month retention rate was over 80%. Given the success of Genies beta, the company will roll out of beta with a V1 version of Genies in November 2018. Already, 2 million people have registered on the waitlist (in addition to the original 1- million user base). Genies V1 will break new ground as the first platform to prioritize real-time chat between avatars, underpinned by artificial intelligence that deciphers each user’s personality traits and real-time mood shifts – in turn directing the actions and facial expressions of individual Genies. It’ll also be the first app to support avatar-to-avatar chat. Genies’ vision is to mainstream avatars as a widely accepted new form of communication. Genies, Inc.’s market valuation is north of $130 million. To date, the company has raised over $25 million from an eclectic group of investors — from CAA Ventures, NEA, former Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull, BoxGroup, and Foundation Capital to The Chainsmokers, basketball star Russell Westbrook, musician Shawn Mendes, pop culture’s favorite rap group Migos, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, and Hall-of-Fame QB Joe Montana, among hundreds of others from all over the world.
Hosts Karl Ulrich and Rob Coneybeer are joined by Robert Jakobi (Founder and CEO, BOU), Charles Chang (Co-Founder & Advisor, Lubn Inc.), Evan Rosenbaum (Co-Founder/ CPO, Genies Inc), and Andy Fang (Co-founder & CTO, DoorDash) on the Wednesday, January 16, 2019 edition of Launch Pad.