Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, has closed a $450 million funding round led by a16z's crypto arm.
The company said in a press release other investors, such as Animoca Brands, FTX, and MoonPay also participated in the funding. With the latest investment round, Yuga Labs' valuation is now set at $4 billion.
Yuga Labs says the proceeds will help it with scaling its team and concluding partnerships it has planned as part of its metaverse project called Otherside. Chris Lyons, General Partner at a16z crypto, noted that Yuga Labs has "quickly become a web3 culture, gaming, and entertainment empire." He added:
Mainstream adoption in web3 is accelerating at lightning speed, and Yuga is at the forefront of merging culture and innovation for everyone to enter the metaverse.
The funding comes just a few months after the Financial Times reported that Yuga Labs was discussing the funding round with Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The report also pointed out — citing people familiar with the talks — that Yuga Labs was also planning to issue tokens to investors and existing Bored Ape holders.
Read also: Yuga Labs expands 'apeconomy' beyond BAYC
But it seems that Yuga Labs doesn't want to have ties with the recently launched project called ApeCoin since Yuga Labs' PR firm wrote in a commentary for Casey Newton, the founder and editor of Platformer, that Yuga Labs "gifted ApeCoin DAO a one-of-one NFT featuring a blue version of the Bored Ape Yacht Club logo." The PR firm added:
This NFT conveys along with it all rights and privileges of the logo’s intellectual property to the ApeCoin DAO. The ApeCoin DAO will decide how the IP is used.
The explanation follows reports claiming VCs that backed ApeCoin received large chunks of money as the project said on its official website it will airdrop 14% of the token's supply to "Launch Contributors."
Although the list of these contributors remains undisclosed, reports say that a16z and Animoca Brands received coins in exchange for assisting with "overall DAO governance design."