- Yuga Labs, the creator of the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, said earlier today that it had raised a $450 million seed round from venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz at a $4 billion valuation.
- The metaverse project, named “Otherside“, will bring together avatars from a variety of NFT initiatives, including BAYC. Yuga Labs teased earlier this week that a metaverse project powered by Ape Token, a new ape-themed crypto coin, was in the works.
- Andreessen Horowitz, which has been investing aggressively in the Web3 field, led the funding round, which was one of the largest for an NFT company to date. It has previously invested in companies such as OpenSea, Dapper Labs, and Coinbase.
Yuga Labs, the Web3 firm behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, has raised $450 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz to grow its main metaverse project, Otherside, and produce NFT-focused games as component of the “Yugaverse.” Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based game software company, and crypto exchange Bitfinex are among the other investors in the round.
According to sources, the team aims to utilize the money to construct a media conglomerate and its own NFT-centric Metaverse called “Otherside.”
In a news announcement, Chris Lyons, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, remarked, “Yuga Labs has swiftly established a Web3 culture, gaming, and entertainment empire.” “Web3 adoption is rising at breakneck speed, and Yuga is at the vanguard of fusing culture and innovation to make the metaverse accessible to everyone.” We’re ecstatic to support this incredible team and their mission, and to help pave the way for the next generation of community-owned entertainment.”
Lyons later declared his intention to join Yuga’s board of directors.
They seek to create a “gamified interoperable universe” that is completely decentralised, according to Wylie Aronow, a co-founder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club who goes by the moniker Gordon Goner, who told The Verge:
“We think the real Ready Player One experience will be player run.”
Yuga Labs is collaborating with a few different game developers to bring Otherside to life, according to CEO Nicole Muniz. She went on to say that everybody, not just BAYC owners, will be welcome in the Metaverse. Yuga Labs has scheduled the debut of the big project and the play-to-earn game for later this year, but no date has been set.
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude of ESPN also said that she took part in the funding round.
According to BAYC cofounder Wylie Aronow, Yuga Labs’ Otherside project aims to be the best decentralized NFT universe with gamification. The gaming universe will not be exclusive to Bored Ape NFT holders, according to CEO Nicole Muniz, and NFTs from other collections will be able to reside within its metaverse.
In terms of weekly sales, the BAYC remains the most popular NFT collection. The collection has a seven-day sales volume of $116.4 million, according to Cryptoslam. Mutant Ape Yacht Club, also from Yuga Labs, is the second-highest NFT collection, with $68.3 million in weekly sales volume.
Yuga Labs and other developing Web3 startups, according to A16z’s crypto division chief Chris Dixon, are an important counterweight to centralised internet giants like Meta adding:
“There’s a dystopian future where Meta is this kind of dominant digital experience provider, and all of the money and control goes to that company.”
However, a16z has made significant investments in a number of crypto and Web3 firms, giving it significant control over their future orientations, which raises the question of centralization.
The metaverse news comes just a week after the introduction of ApeCoin, which was introduced alongside the ApeCoin DAO, a newly-created company that is in charge of the coin’s operations. The entity’s leadership is made up of a council made up of numerous individuals that are closely associated with Yuga Labs but are not directly employed by the company. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, FTX Gaming CEO Amy Wu, Sound Ventures’ Maaria Bajwa, Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu, and Horizen Labs’ Dean Steinbeck are among the members.
If the financial figures are true, Yuga Labs will make $127 million in 2021, with a net revenue of 92.4 percent. In layman’s words, the growing company costs very little to run. Yuga is expected to generate $455 million in revenue this year, according to the deck.
Otherside hasn’t been given a release date by Yuga Labs, but the business is planning to release a play-to-earn game later this year.