- Yuga Labs has acquired NFT startup WENEW, creator of the 10KTF project and other brand collaborations.
- WENEW co-founder Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann joins Yuga Labs as an advisor as part of the deal.
Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs isn’t done expanding. After purchasing the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT project IP from Larva Labs in March, the startup today announced that it has acquired NFT startup WENEW, co-founded by famed artist Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann.
WENEW has pursued a number of brand collaborations since launching in June 2021, including with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Playboy, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The startup is also known for 10KTF, an Ethereum NFT project built around a fictional tailor that creates digital apparel for various high-value profile picture (PFP) projects—including Bored Apes.
Yuga Labs has acquired the startup and will add WENEW co-founder and CEO Michael Figge as its new Chief Content Officer. Beeple, meanwhile—who is best known for selling a single piece of NFT artwork for $69.3 million at auction in March 2021—will serve as an advisor to Yuga Labs.
10KTF is a story-driven NFT project built around a fictional “digital artisan” named Wagmi-san, who develops custom outfits that owners of popular PFP projects—including the Bored Apes, but also Cool Cats, Nouns, Moonbirds, and others—can have applied to their owned NFT artwork. Owners can also order physical apparel based on their PFP artwork.
Apparel brands such as Gucci and Puma have previously done digital fashion collaborations with 10KTF. Yuga Labs has already teased some kind of implementation of Wagmi-san into its upcoming Bored Ape-centric metaverse game, Otherside. A Yuga Labs representative told Decrypt that terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
An NFT is a blockchain token that represents ownership in a unique item, often for digital goods like profile pictures, artwork, and collectibles. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the most successful projects in the space, yielding nearly $2.5 billion to date in secondary sales, per data from CryptoSlam.
Last week, ahead of the acquisition announcement, three Yuga Labs co-founders co-signed a blog post with 10KTF CTO Randy “Melonpan” Chung criticizing NFT marketplace OpenSea’s stance on creator royalties. The day after the post was shared, OpenSea changed course and said that it will continue to honor royalties on secondary sales.
In March, following news that Yuga had acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP, the startup announced that it had raised $450 million at a $4 billion valuation.
One of Yuga’s backers was FTX Ventures, which went down in flames last week when the popular cryptocurrency exchange collapsed amid a liquidity crunch. On Friday, Yuga co-founder Wylie “Gordon Goner” Aronow tweeted that the FTX collapse “hasn’t affected us,” and that it previously removed funds that it held in FTX US.