Bored Apes Yacht Club Creator Yuga Labs Raises $450M at $4B Valuation

Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, funding

Yuga Labs, which created the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, has raised $450 million in a funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

As Bloomberg News reported Wednesday (March 23), the funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Animoca Brands, its subsidiary The Sandbox and the cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd.

The funding is part of BAYC’s plan to build a metaverse. The company is looking for a $5 billion valuation on the premise that it can raise $455 million this year, primarily from sales of “land” plots in a gaming-focused virtual reality called MetaRPG.

Read more: Planet of the Bored Apes

In the last year, BAYC has become one of the leading NFT (non-fungible token) collections, racking up $1.4 billion in sales. Its creator has become one of the biggest promoters of NFTs, with Yuga forming a deal with Animoca to have the apes appear in a game.

In addition, the company has put together exclusive events for people who buy its digital apes, while fans have begun using putting the digital image to use in a host of different places.

Yuga said it will use the funds to hire new members of its development team and for joint ventures and partnerships. The company recently purchased the intellectual property — as well as numerous NFTs — of the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs.

In addition, Yuga says it could build the collections into even bigger brands, with some of the apes showing up in games or on luxury goods.

See also: Is Bored Ape Yacht Club’s New Memecoin In the Doghouse Or Doge House?

Last week, the owners of the NFT line were each “airdropped” — given — 10,000 ApeCoins, the company’s new cryptocurrency. As PYMNTS noted earlier this week, the coin had a less-than-stellar launch, plummeting from nearly $40 to below $6.50 within a few hours of its debut. But despite being down 75%, it still has a market capitalization of $10 billion, making it a top-50 cryptocurrency.

BAYC’s NFTs, meanwhile, are selling with a floor price of close to $300,000, with a number of Bored Apes with rare characteristics selling for seven figures, with buyers including celebrities such as Eminem and Jimmy Fallon.