Yesterday Yuga Labs, the founding company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) collection, announced that it has raised $450 million in seed funding at a $4 billion valuation. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with Animoca Brands, FTX Ventures, and others also participating.
Earlier this month, Yuga Labs expanded its NFT portfolio by acquiring the intellectual property (IP) rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from Larva Labs. This fundraise likely points to the amount paid for the Larva Labs assets. Under Yuga Labs’ ownership, CryptoPunks and Meebits holders will be granted the same commercial rights as BAYC owners and will be able to commercialize their collectibles’ IP.
“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.”
Last week ApeCoin, a native token of the BAYC and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) projects, was launched. The token is governed by the newly formed ApeCoin DAO consisting of token holders. 15% of the total ApeCoin token supply was allocated to Yuga Labs, which is currently worth approximately $1.8 billion. Another 8% was allocated to the company’s founding team. As well as governance, the token will be used for Yuga Labs’ new play-to-earn game that is being developed in partnership with Animoca Brands.
Several music labels have been using BAYC as a foothold into the NFT ecosystem, with Universal Music launching a metaverse music group consisting of BAYC characters and Timbaland unveiling an entertainment brand based around the NFTs.