Earlier this week, the creators of the now-popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, Yuga Labs, completed a $450 million funding round.
According to a report by The Verge, the raise valued the company at $4 billion. The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from others like Coinbase, Animoca Brands, FTX, and MoonPay.
The new capital will be used to build Yuga’s new NFT metaverse project ‘Otherside,’ scale its team, and support joint ventures and partnerships.
Yuga Labs has been actively expanding its presence in the NFT space. The company recently purchased the intellectual property rights of CryptoPunks and Meebits, pushing it to become the owner of two of the most popular collections in the NFT space. Furthermore, Yuga Labs released the trailer to an upcoming metaverse project, a gaming-focused virtual world dubbed “Otherside.” It also released a standalone cryptocurrency called ApeCoin last week.
Greg Solano, a Yuga Labs co-founder, is confident that the game will stand out from other metaverse projects, which have so far been less competitive. He said:
You only play with people and make friends because you’re getting your ass kicked. Basically, we don’t think deep social experience comes from essentially a Zoom chat and walking around saying ‘hi.’
Surprisingly, despite the growing excitement around NFTs, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has expressed his disapproval for the frenzy. Speaking to TIME Magazine in an interview, Buterin said:
I would rather Ethereum offend some people than turn into something that stands for nothing […] The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling.