Genies is going all-in on online avatars, those animations that resemble you but can express themselves in ways you can only imagine. It’s a familiar concept: Users create look-alike characters on their phones that they can then use in apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Apple’s iMessages.

Where Genies separates itself from the competition is with its star-studded cast of users. Led in part by Evan Rosenbaum W14, the company has made waves with investors including Shawn Mendes, Russell Westbrook, and A$AP Rocky, who are also part of a network of athletes and artists who use their hyper-realistic animated avatars to promote events and products. A-listers aren’t the only ones on board: The app also has a general user base and has attracted business from companies that include Disney, Gucci, and New Balance.

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