Last week, Realqaiqai, the Instagram handle for Qai Qai (pronounced “kway kway”), the doll turned social media star belonging to Olympia Ohanian, the 3-year-old daughter of tennis star Serena Williams and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, posted two, side-by-side images summarizing the doll’s evolution. “How it started” was the headline over a photo a brown-skinned baby doll wearing a purple tutu. Next to it was another line, “How it’s going,” above an animated Qai Qai with a decidedly sassy look on her face, striking a pose and flashing the peace sign. The post received nearly 20,000 likes.
Qai Qai’s journey from a doll that first showed up in Williams’ social media feed in 2018 when the tennis player uploaded a video of Qai Qai lying forlornly on the ground, into a spunky, animated character that now has her own Instagram and TikTok accounts with over 3.2 million followers, is largely the work of a new, entertainment tech startup called Invisible Universe.