At the beginning of the week, Bored Ape Yacht Club’s parent company, Yuga Labs, announced its most recent round of funding and teased an upcoming project.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) parent company, Yuga Labs, has announced that it has raised $450 million in seed funding, bringing its valuation at $4 billion. Being the owner of three of the hottest and most lucrative NFT brands today, it seems Yuga Labs has just established itself as the most successful NFT company to date.
Several weeks ago, The Financial Times reported that Yuga Labs was working at raising funds at a billion-dollar valuation. Its latest Series Seed funding round is not surprising, considering the company has been working hard in consolidating the NFT space with its acquisition of Meebits’ and CryptoPunks’ intellectual properties from Larva Labs. The company has also launched its ApeCoin cryptocurrency.
$450 Million Funding in the Bag
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the funding for Yuga Labs, which marked one of the largest seed rounds for an NFT collection. Other investors included top-tier game studios Animoca Brands and its subsidiary The Sandbox, crypto leaders FTX and MoonPay, and other strategic partners such as LionTree, Thrive Capital, and Sound Ventures.
Yuga Labs plans to use the $450 million to scale its fast-growing team and talent acquisition for creative, engineering, and operations functions. It also plans to use the funds for future partnerships and joint ventures.
According to Yuga Labs partner Guy Oseary, “This capital will give Yuga speed to market on many things underway and bring in new partners with strategic thinking that share the vision.”
A general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Chris Lyons, couldn’t contain his excitement and tweeted that he is joining Yuga Labs’ board to help “define the future of culture and innovation.” He even loaned his BAYC profile picture to a16z, which then used it as the firm’s Twitter profile picture.
“Yuga Labs has quickly become a web3 culture, gaming, and entertainment empire,” said Lyons. “Mainstream adoption in web3 is accelerating at lightning speed, and Yuga is at the forefront of merging culture and innovation for everyone to enter the metaverse. We’re thrilled to invest in this brilliant team and their vision and help forge the next frontier of community-owned entertainment.”
Yuga Labs’ Latest Metaverse Project
Yuga Labs plans to dedicate a considerable chunk of the funding to develop and deliver a new Metaverse project, which they teased on Twitter on March 19 and called “Otherside.”
The announcement about “Otherside” comes on the heels of the trading debut of ApeCoin, Yuga Labs’ new cryptocurrency token. The “Otherside” will be an MMORPG explicitly created to connect the more expansive NFT universe.
Yuga Labs’ will collaborate with other game studios to deliver this project, so it will not be limited to BAYC holders. The company disclosed its plans to incorporate development tools in the game to enable NFTs from other projects to work and permit access to “Otherside.”
“Already, a new economy is possible with the IP of Apes, Punks, and Meebits, owned by the community,” said Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs. “The possibilities for blockchain’s impact on culture are endless, and so we are building a beautiful, interoperable world for people to explore and play in. There’s a lot to come.”
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