Yuga Labs raises $450M in seed round at $4 billion valuation, Plans to launch metaverse
Led by Andreesen Horowitz, the seed round is one of the largest funding deals in the nonfungible token market.
Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored APe Yacht Club (BAYC) and new owners of the CryptoPuks and Meebits brands declared it is now valued at $4 billion after its latest $450 million seed funding. VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, or a 16z, led the company's first institutional investment, marking one of the largest seed rounds for any nonfungible token (NFT) collection to date.
Investors included Animoca Brands, FTX, MoonPay as well LionTree, Thrive Capital, and Sound Ventures. The company plans to use funds to scale its team, attract more creative, engineering, and operations talent, as well future joint ventures and partnerships.
To celebrate the occasion, Chris Lyons, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, loaned his Bored Ape to a16z, which uploaded it as the firm's new profile picture on Twitter. Lyons tweeted that he will be joining the board of Yuga Labs to help "define the future of culture and innovation."
We’re excited to announce that a16z Crypto is leading the financing for @YugaLabs. GP @ChrisLyons has the details https://t.co/vmQZDXjHYV— a16z (@a16z) March 22, 2022
Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, also declared that "there's a lot to come" given the "new economy" of Apes, Punks, and Meebits Intellectual Property or IP. Yuga Labs recently bought the IP of CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs and aims to give full commercial rights to NFT holders.
The Financial Times revealed that Yuga Labs was seeking funding for a multi-million dollar stake. While the company may have confirmed its seed round investment on Tuesday, Yuga labs teased a new metaverse project called Otherside on March 18.
See you on the Otherside in April. Powered by @apecoin pic.twitter.com/1cnSk1CjXS— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) March 19, 2022
The announcement of the metaverse followed the trading debut of their upcoming marketplace's new cryptocurrency token called ApeCoin. The asset, which was developed and launched by the ApeCoin decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAO, experienced wild volatility in its first few hours at market and even affected the average price of the BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Bored Ape Kennel Club collections.
Read: BAYC floor price rallies 25% as Yuga Labs acquires CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections