Maker of Bored Apes, Yuga Labs, has raised a seed funding round of $450 million at a new valuation of $4 billion. The announcement came on Tuesday from the Miami-based NFT firm.
Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC), called Bored Ape for short, is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection built on the Ethereum network. They are monkey JPEGs basically and the collection features profile pictures of cartoon apes that are procedurally generated by an algorithm.
The funding was received from a range of investors and while Animoca Brands, LionTree, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, FTX and MoonPay participated in the round, Andreessen Horowitz led the round. Although the NFT firm had not previously raised funding through the startup, it has been long seeking the attention of major venture capital firms as its aim is to continue to stay relevant in the NFT space as well as become a major leader in the space.
The funding round follows shortly after Yuga Labs acquired the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from their creator Larva Labs. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Together, the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections are valued at at least $3.6 billion. The acquisition is an important discussion because BoredApes and CryptoPunks are the most valued NFT collections by market cap. Although the intellectual property rights of the characters belonged to the projects’ creators, the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFTs are owned by members of the community. Following its acquisition, Yuga Labs will be giving full commercial rights of the NFTs to the individual owners. This, however, does not mean YugaLabs will be giving up full ownership, but it’s a step closer to what the owners of the NFT have always wanted.
Yuga Labs which is trying to become a major player in the NFT space is ramping efforts to push its own metaverse version called “Otherside”. This version of the metaverse will integrate avatars from various NFT projects and is NFT-centered.