Yuga Labs Raises $450 Million As It Expands Beyond NFTs

Yuga Labs, the creator of the wildly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token (NFT) collection, has been the toast of the NFT space for about a month now. With the company expanding its collection and reach, it appears to finally be growing out of its current landscape.

Yuga Labs Raises $450 Million As It Expands Beyond NFTs

Now, the NFT creators have raised additional capital to fuel their vision as they hope to capitalize on several current trends to expand their market share.

Big Money For Some Bored Apes

In late March, Yuga Labs announced that it had successfully raised $450 million in a new seed funding round. The NFT creator confirmed that the raise was its first institutional funding round, and it was led by top tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. As Yuga Labs is looking to branch out from just NFTs, this new capital infusion should help ease its transition.

The talk about a possible capital raise for Yuga Labs has been circulating for a while. Rumors first began swirling in early February, when The Financial Times reported that the company was seeking institutional investment as it had seen massive expansion over the past few months.

As the report explained at the time, Yuga Labs was already in talks with Andreessen Horowitz over leading a possible funding round that would see it valued as high as $5 billion. The company's press release announcing the capital raise showed that it is now valued at $4.5 billion, which isn't so far off the mark.

A lower valuation than expected can be a good thing for Yuga Labs. The company remains untested in really difficult times, and reducing its valuation would allow it to set more realistic milestones and grow from there. With funds pouring into spaces like NFTs, it is usually better to grow at your own pace.

Still, it goes without saying that investors would be chomping at the bit to get a piece of Yuga Labs. Besides Andreessen, other investors in this funding round include FTX Ventures, MoonPay, and Animoca Brands. The NFT creators have said that they would use the raised funds to scale, bring in more creatives, and embark on future ventures and partnerships.

Expansion All The Way

It definitely is an exciting time for Yuga Labs right now. The company has several plays at this point as it is looking to capitalize on different trends. The Bored Apes NFT collection remains one of the most popular in the world, selling billions of dollars in volumes already. At the same time, the company has branched to create other popular collections and will likely be working towards generating enough traction for them.

Yuga Labs also made a big splash when it purchased the CryptoKitties and Meebits collections from Larva Labs. Following the acquisition, Yuga Labs has been confirmed as the owner of both collections, and the company also received 423 CryptoPunks and 1711 Meebits.

CryptoPunks is one of the oldest and most popular NFT collections right now. The collection was among the first to get popular in the market, and it was a major driver for the popularity of NFTs at this point. The Meebits collection is also fairly popular, ranking among the top 10 NFT collections on OpenSea.

With a single transaction, Yuga Labs managed to get control of three of the top 10 NFT collections. Anticipation about how much the company could make from these three would definitely have fueled its massive value.

Besides its acquisitions, Yuga Labs is also getting massive praise for ApeCoin - a Bored Ape-themed digital asset that launched in March. There is a lot of controversy over who owns and controls the asset, but there have been links to Yuga Labs and the Bored Apes NFT as well.

Welcome To The Otherside

Then, there is Otherside - a metaverse project being built by Yuga Labs. Shortly after announcing its capital raise, the company teased the metaverse, raising awareness for what they believe will be one of the most immersive metaverse experiences yet.

To be fair, the details for the metaverse are still scarce. There's no release date, and Yuga Labs hasn't said how the project would work. However, Wylie Aronow, one of the Bored Apes co-founders, told The Verge that he is looking to build a multiplayer role-playing game and a player-run interoperable world.

A leaked pitch deck shows that the company appears to be looking to reward its community with the metaverse platform. The deck shows that Yug Labs is looking to offer up to 200,000 plots of land, with 30 percent of the first 100,000distributed to existing Bored Ape Yacht Club members. Whatever it is, the future sure looks exciting for Yuga Labs.

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