Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and new owners of the CryptoPunks and Meebits brands, announced it is now valued at $4 billion after its latest $450 million seed funding round. VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z, led the company‘s first institutional investment, marking one of the largest seed rounds for any nonfungible token (NFT) collection to date.
Other investors included Animoca Brands, FTX and MoonPay, as well as LionTree, Sound Ventures and Thrive Capital. The company plans to use the funds to scale its team, attract more creative, engineering and operations talent, as well as for 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.”
Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, also stated 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 plans to give full commercial rights to NFT holders.
Cointelegraph first reported about the supposed deal last month when 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 Friday.
The announcement of the Otherside 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 organization, 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.