Genies' Venture Arm, Humans, Commits 80% of its Capital to NFT Digital Identity Projects and Hires "Bored Ape Yacht Club" Evangelist to Run it Full Time
Humans hires Jonathan Weems, infamously known as @BelfortNFT on Twitter by the BAYC community, as its first investment hire specializing in NFTs & Crypto
Oct 28, 2021, 08:50 ET
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Genies, the world's largest avatar technology company, announced that 80% of its micro-fund will now be allocated towards NFT projects. Additionally, the company announced Jonathan Weems has joined Humans, Genies investment arm which focuses on NFTs and crypto investments, to lead new and emerging opportunities within the NFT community. In his role, Weems will spearhead and build out the Humans investment pipeline alongside Genies CEO, Akash Nigam, who first met the Virginia-native and fellow Bored Ape Yacht Club member through an "ape" discussion on Twitter.
Humans' NFT mission is to participate in projects that enable owners to express their digital identity through individuality, personality, and uniqueness. Genies' mission seeks to enable the whole world to have a digital identity that represents who they truly are - their authentic self.
Known on Twitter as @BelfortNFT, Weems has been a part of the NFT community since January 2021 when he joined NBA Top Shot. He dove deep into NFTs when he purchased his first Bored Ape in early May and began meeting other like-minded collectors in the community. Akash Nigam, also a fellow Ape, first met Weems when they shared a similar vision around the future of NFTs via Twitter. In a matter of days, Genies organized for Weems to personally meet Akash in Los Angeles, where he was offered the job at Humans on the spot. The 25-year-old from Virginia, who has never left the east coast, has already relocated to LA.
"Our mission at Genies has always been bigger than just a business. We want to allow people to authentically express themselves on the internet and want to support as many efforts as possible that are pushing this agenda. The NFT space is a volcano eruption of digital identity" explained Genies Founder and CEO, Akash Nigam. "Jonathan Weems and I got along so well because of our obsession around authenticity in the metaverse - he's going to be incredible in identifying the projects that are really pursuing this mission. We would've never met if it wasn't for one of the best identity projects out there today, the Bored Ape Yacht Club."
Before joining Genies, Weems was a Senior Consultant for Ernst and Young in their Financial Services sector. He graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Finance. He will be working on Genies' investment arm, Humans, where they are looking to invest in more beneficial metaverse, crypto, and NFT opportunities.
"Collecting NFTs enables people to express themselves in ways never seen before, and to a virtually unlimited audience that would be unreachable without the power of the internet and the blockchain. Genies has been building avatars and digital identities for years before the NFT space started to blow up, and Akash and the team understand this paradigm shift better than anyone. It's so exciting to be working at a company that's bringing this technology to the whole world." explained Jonathan Weems. "At Humans Ventures, we will be investing in teams that are able to capture the essence of digital identity, and use revolutionary technology to bring it to life. We will leverage our network and accessibility to bring as much value as possible to each team we partner with."
To date, Humans has made strategic investments in 20+ metaverse companies including OpenSea, Dapperlabs, Clubhouse, Super Rare, Superplastic, Alchemy and plans to add more.
ABOUT GENIES, INC.
Genies is the world's largest avatar technology company, bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture through its mission to own the "virtual being identity layer." The company has set the foundation for swift, widespread adaptation of avatars as virtual beings in society through its consumer-first future vision coined "Decentralized Disney of the metaverse." Genies provides consumers and celebrities with the tools to create high-quality avatars, enabling anyone to own their digital identity and express themselves across metaverses. The technology features an avatar wearables/skins marketplace built with Dapper Labs, API integrations, and a consumer app. Investors include Bond, NEA, Breyer Capital, CAA, and Tull Investment Group. The company has 99% celebrity avatar market share through its partnerships with Warner Music Group, NFLPA, MLBPI, NBPA, and individually with thousands of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, Migos, Cardi B, and J Balvin.
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