On March 22, 2022, Yuga Labs announced it had secured $450 million from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) at $4 billion valuation. The firm, which is behind the ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club’ — a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection built on the Ethereum blockchain, also saw participation from other investors including Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, LionTree, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, FTX, and MoonPay in the seed round.
The funds were the largest raised by a NFT collection startup in a seed round.
Chris Lyons, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), announced on Twitter that he will be officially joining Yuga Labs as one of the board of directors to help “define the future of culture and innovation.”
Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, released a statement: “A new economy is possible with the IP of Apes, Punks, and Meebits, owned by the community.” He further added,
Recently, Yuga Labs launched Apecoin, a game token that can be claimed by members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. On its first day of trading, the token amassed a multibillion-dollar market cap. The company plans to leverage this momentum into its own version of the metaverse — called ‘Otherside’ — which includes avatars from various different NFT projects.
The company has acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP from Larva Labs, and intends to offer NFT holders complete commercial rights.
Prior to this, the NFT startup had not raised any funds.
Yuga Labs’ trademark JPEG NFTs has long piqued the attention of venture capitalists. Launched in April 2021, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has sold over 10,000 NFTs, has since become the second biggest NFT collection in the world, with its trademark ape JPEGs becoming extremely popular and fuelling the NFT craze.