Yuga Labs raises $450M as it sets sights on a native metaverse

Sam Grant
Sam Grant March 23, 2022
Updated 2022/03/23 at 1:15 PM
3 Min Read
  • Yuga labs recently announced the planned launch of Otherside, a metaverse powered by ApeCoin
  • Part of the funds raised in this seed round will be invested in the metaverse project

Miami-based NFT creator and parent company of the famed Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Yuga Labs, has completed a $450 million raise at a $4 billion valuation in a just-concluded seed round. It was led by venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), but also saw the participation of other big names in and around crypto, including Animoca Brands, Thrive Capital, MoonPay, Sandbox, FTX and Google Ventures.

Founded by Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano in 2021, the company has seen massive growth as a maker of high-value collectables. It now aims to expand to maintain this growth. The resources it has raised will be used to snap the best talents across several fields, facilitate joint ventures and partnerships.

While the NFT marketspace has slowed down in recent months, Yuga Labs has been making moves towards establishing a dominant position in the industry.

It recently acquired the intellectual property for NFT collections CryptoPunks, and Meebits, both created by Larva Labs. This means that Yuga Labs has control over some of the most profitable and influential NFT projects.

A metaverse powered by ApeCoin

The NFT maker is exploring the option of building its metaverse. It already premiered a sneak peek into the ‘Otherside’ metaverse, which it confirmed in the released statement. On March 19, Yuga Labs tweeted a teaser to the metaverse initiative, saying it would be coming next month and will be powered by the ApeCoin token.

ApeCoin itself had only been announced not long before, as a token developed by ApeCoin DAO (separate from Yuga Labs). Bored Ape holders are getting 10,000 ApeCoins, but the 1 billion APE tokens coming soon will be distributed differently among several entities.

There’s also the goal to develop an ecosystem for P2E games – by Animoca Brands and Yuga Labs – and establish a Web3 community. Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz sees a community via the projects under its umbrella.

“Already, a new economy is possible with the IP of Apes, Punks, and Meebits, owned by the community. 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,” the Yuga Labs CEO noted.

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