October 23, 2021

Dapper Labs Launching New Wearable NFT Marketplace

Dapper Labs has just announced a partnership with  the celebrity-driven avatar technology company Genies to build a new marketplace on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs is currently valued at over $7.5 billion.

The new platform which is aiming to become the “Amazon of Digital Wearable NFTs” will be called the “Genies Marketplace”, where celebrities and, ultimately, all platform users can create and sell digital wearable NFT collections for their avatars, or digital alter-egos. Genies will also periodically have challenges for users to unlock special wearables. Dapper Labs and Genies hope to launch the beta version sometime in the third quarter. The financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Their aim is to take on Snapchat-owned Bitmoji, which has popularized sticker-like cartoon avatars, or personalized emojis, widely used across social media platforms, Genies partnered with celebrities including Rihanna, Shawn Mendes and Cardi B, who have used their personalized avatars as alternative ways to connect with their fans, announcing new song drops or partnerships. For example, Justin Bieber promoted his partnership with Amazon Music with a Genies avatar version of himself. Genies claims it has a 99% celebrity avatar market share.  

Shawn Mendes, whose avatar digital wearable NFTs hit the market earlier this year, said through a shared statement with his manager Andrew Gertler, “it was amazing to see how much excitement there was around the digital avatar experience.” Now, with the Genies marketplace the experience will become “accessible to all of Shawn’s fans by allowing them to interact and customize their Genies and trade in digital goods and wearables in a truly unique way.” Mendes is also Genies’ early investor.

Dapper Labs’ CEO Roham Gharegozlou says he feels as confident about the undertaking as with the NBA Top Shot. The marketplace, largely responsible for the boom of NFTs has set a high bar, scoring more than $500 million in sales in less than a year. 

However, it is now facing the pressure of declining sales and trading volume, which could be attributed to the overall cooling of the NFT boom and technical issues related to platform congestion and testing, as the platform is still technically operating in beta mode despite its widespread adoption.

“We used to have pretty significant downtime, so we’re just pretty much down to scheduled maintenance now,” says Gharegozlou. “At this pace, within two months, I think we’ll be in a really great shape and ready for Genies to stress out our servers.”

Oren Todoros

Founder of NiftyX NFT industry news, BIGINTRO a content strategy agency servicing emerging industries, and the proud father of 3 beautiful girls.

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