Bored Ape Yacht Club Creator raises $450M For NFT Metaverse
- Yuga Labs wants to create an open Metaverse called ‘Otherside’.
- Andreessen Horowitz led the $450M funding round.
- The firm has recently purchased two extensive NFT collections and launched its crypto token.
The massive $450 million fundraising round was led by the crypto industry’s most prominent venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Yuga Labs, which owns three of the largest NFT collections, has now been valued at $4 billion. Other contributors to the funding round include Hong Kong-based game software company Animoca Brands, crypto exchange Coinbase, and MoonPay.
According to reports, the team plans to use the funding to build a media empire and its NFT-centric Metaverse called ‘Otherside’.
Ready Player One
Wylie Aronow, a co-founder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club who goes by the pseudonym Gordon Goner, told The Verge that they want to create a “gamified interoperable world” that is entirely decentralized, adding:
“We think the real Ready Player One experience will be player run.”
CEO Nicole Muniz said that Yuga Labs is partnering with a few different game studios to bring Otherside into fruition. She added that the Metaverse would be open to everyone, not just BAYC owners. There was no timeline for launching the ambitious project or the play-to-earn game that Yuga Labs has planned for later this year.
A16z’s crypto division lead, Chris Dixon, commented that Yuga Labs and other emerging Web3 companies are an essential counterweight to centralized tech giants like Meta (formerly Facebook, FB), 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 also invested heavily in many crypto and Web3 startups, giving it a lot of leeway over its future directions, which raises the centralization issue.
Last month, Yuga Labs made a significant move to acquire more of the NFT ecosystem by purchasing CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs.
Last week, the firm also launched its token called ApeCoin (APE) to support the BAYC ecosystem. However, the token has already lost 31% from its launch day all-time high.
Yuga Labs Collections Dominate
The BAYC remains the most popular NFT collection in terms of weekly sales. Cryptoslam is currently reporting a seven-day sales volume of $116.4 million for the collection. The second-highest NFT collection is Mutant Ape Yacht Club, also from Yuga Labs, with $68.3 million in weekly sales volume.