Yuga Labs, the creator of the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) project in existence, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), claims to have raised $450 million (roughly Rs. 3,430 crore) in funding for its planned joint ventures and partnerships, as well as its recently teased metaverse project dubbed “Otherside”. The seed round was led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz’s new fund ‘a16z crypto’ with Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, LionTree, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, FTX, MoonPay, and other participants all contributing.
The deal valued Yuga Labs at $4 billion (roughly Rs. 30,475 crore), with the raise and valuation likely the highest ever for a seed round. “This capital will give Yuga speed to market on many things underway, and bring in new partners with strategic thinking that share the vision,” Guy Oseary, partner at Yuga Labs, said in an announcement.
The announcement follows Yuga Labs teaser trailer post on Twitter for a new project called Otherside. The teaser itself doesn’t explicitly state what Otherside is but does contain hints that strongly suggest that it will focus on the “culture, gaming, and commerce” invoked during last week’s announcement of ApeCoin. The teaser tweet also indicates that the project will feature the use of ApeCoin.
Yuga Labs was said to be working on a gaming-centric virtual world compatible with different types of popular NFTs and thus, the announcement of Otherside wasn’t a big surprise.
The move also follows Yuga Labs’ recent acquisition of commercial rights to NFT collections CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. The consolidation gives Yuga Labs the intellectual property rights of some of the three most profitable crypto assets in the industry.
“Already, a new economy is possible with the IP of Apes, Punks, and Meebits, owned by the community,” Nicole Muniz, chief executive of Yuga Labs, said in a statement. “The possibilities for blockchain’s impact on culture are endless, and so we are building a beautiful, interoperable world for people to explore and play in. There’s a lot to come.”
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