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Andreesen Horowitz leads Yuga Labs' $450M funding round

Mar 23, 2022
Illustration of a watering can pouring dollar bills.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs raised $450 million in a seed funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

Why it matters: It's one of the largest-ever funding rounds for an NFT company.

  • Yuga Labs, which happens to own three of the biggest NFT brands on the market, is also looking to supercharge its metaverse aspirations.

Details: The funding round was led by Andreesen Horowitz's a16z crypto fund — an expectation Axios reported back in February. At that time, Yuga sought a $5 billion valuation.

  • Chris Lyons, general partner at a16z crypto, will join Yuga Labs' board.
  • Additional investors included Animoca Brands and its subsidiary The Sandbox, LionTree, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, FTX and MoonPay.
  • Yuga Labs plans to use the funds to "scale its rapidly growing team, attract the best talent across creative, engineering and operations functions, and for joint ventures and partnerships it has planned."

What's next: Yuga Labs will launch its metaverse project, Otherside, in April.

The big picture: Yuga Labs has been not-so-quietly building its own web3-based empire.

  • Earlier this month, the company acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs, which gave it a $5.5 billion market cap in the NFT space.
  • A few days later, it launched its own cryptocurrency ApeCoin.

What they're saying: "Already, a new economy is possible with the IP of Apes, Punks, and Meebits, owned by the community," said Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, 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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