If you have followed up on NFTs, you must have encountered “Yuga Labs” at one point. The company came about in 2021, launching some of the top NFT projects, such as Bored Ape Yacht (BAYC) and CryptoPunks.
The company’s goal during its launch was to create a media empire that articulately spelled out the perks of NFTs. Fortunately, the platform’s launch of BAYC NFTs went viral, stemming its place as a dominant force in the metaverse industry.
For such a newly launched project, Yuga Labs has received a plethora of praise which begs the question, who is behind all this success? This article is outlined to unravel the mystery in Yuga Labs and the story behind their abrupt fame.
What Is Yuga Labs?
Yuga Labs was founded in 2021 in the US. The company is best known for its work on the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the world’s largest NFT project at the time.
The company’s project, the BAYC, was created to create 10,000 Bored Ape NFT coins. On April 23, 2021, Yuga Labs launched the project, and the floor price was around 0.08 ETH. A few months later, it reached a high of 44 ETH. Today, the project is valued at billions.
In addition to BAYC, Yuga Labs also launched two other projects the following year: the Bored Ape Kennel Club and the Mutant Ape Yacht Club, on June 18 and August 28, respectively. Both of these collections quickly sold out on secondary markets. The NFTs from the former collection, priced at thousands of dollars, started attracting prominent buyers.
After generating over $127 million in revenue in 2021, Yuga Labs focused on expansion the following year. In March, the company purchased two of the most prominent NFT projects in the community, including the CryptoPunks and the Meebits. It also launched a new project, called Otherside, a metaverse project.
Until recently, little was known about Yuga Labs despite its impressive financial performance and the success of its high-profile project, such as the BAYC. However, it was doxxed to reveal the founders as a writer called Greg Solano and a former student by the name of Wylie Aronow, who went by the pseudonyms of Gordon Goner and Gargamel. With its plans to expand into other areas, the company has also come under increasing scrutiny.
The Acquisition of CryptoPunks and Meebits
On March 11, 2022, Yuga Labs announced that it had acquired the assets of Larva Labs, which include the CryptoPunks and the Meebits. These two collections are two of the most prominent competitors in the PFP NFT market. With this acquisition, Yuga Labs has become the leader in the PFP NFT ecosystem.
In addition, acquiring Larva Labs’ assets has allowed Yuga Labs to own all the two collections’ intellectual property rights (IP). Notably, Yuga Labs gained 1,711 Meebits and 423 CryptoPunks.
The acquisition immediately resulted in a spike in the prices of the three collections. During this period, the price of NFTs had already been affected by the war in Ukraine. Within just two days following the announcement, the floor price of a Bored Ape had increased by more than 30 percent, to 97 ETH. The price of CryptoPunks also rose by 11 percent to 75 ETH, while Meebit spiked 32 percent to around 5.6 ETH.
Yuga Labs’ Funding and Profits
In March 2022, Yuga Labs raised $450 million in a funding round to develop its metaverse. The company then put its value at around $4 billion. The round was led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has been known to help organizations such as Coinbase and OpenSea get off the ground. Other prominent investors included Google Ventures, Samsung, and Animoca Brands.
Since its inception in 2021, Yuga Labs has grown its revenue and achieved tremendous success. The company is expected to generate around $455 million by the end of 2022. Most of its earnings are expected from virtual land sales in Otherside.
However, as of now, Yuga Labs is not a major competitor in the metaverse compared to the likes of Amazon and Google. However, given their rapid expansion, maybe they should watch out.
How Does Yuga Labs Operate?
Yuga Labs is focused on creating utility solutions to help NFT holders get the most out of their ecosystem. The team at Yuga Labs is committed to pushing the limits of what’s possible with the NFT ecosystem. Their goal is to maintain the exclusiveness of the BAYC community by developing products and services that are designed to help keep the users of this platform constantly updated.
In March, Yuga Labs’ subsidiary, ApeCoinDAO, revealed that it would launch a cryptocurrency known as $APE. It’s a blockchain-based token that folks will use in the BAYC universe. Its governance token allows users to vote on projects and rules within the community.
Notably, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is an organization solely controlled by the members, not a central government. However, Yuga Labs mentions that it is not responsible for creating or maintaining ApeCoin.
In addition to the aforementioned Bored Apes, other notable NFTs such as the Bored Ape Kennel Club and the CryptoPunks are also offered commercial rights. BAYC members can create and sell merchandise and leverage their NFTs to earn additional money. In addition, the organization regularly releases exclusive merchandise for members.
Yuga Labs prioritizes BAYC members when launching new products or allocating new NFTs. It also engages with the organization’s members in various decision-making processes.
ApeCoin: The Utility Token Serving the Community
The project’s bio on Twitter states that it is a utility token that aims to empower community building on the web3.
Yuga Labs aims to create a robust and efficient governance system for the Bay Area community through its token, ApeCoin. It will function as a utility token holders can use to vote on policy changes and purchase various items in the Bay Area.
In terms of distribution, the project’s 160 million APE was allocated to Yuga Labs, with 10 million going to charity. Another 80 million APE was allocated to the founders of Yuga Labs and the Bay Area Community. Also, 140 million APE was allocated to launch contributors, which will most likely include the company’s partners and investors.
Yuga Labs decided to pull its participation from the operations of the project’s subsidiary, ApeCoin DAO, due to legal reasons. However, this doesn’t prevent the team from receiving and allocating the full supply of the cryptocurrency.
Yuga Labs has already made an effort to establish dominance in the metaverse world. With its metaverse, Otherside, the company wants to connect its massively multiplayer role-playing game to the broader NFT universe.
Greg Solano, aka Gargamel, a co-founder of Yuga Labs, disagrees with the idea that people can bond in a shared virtual space without doing anything tangible. He shared, “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 a Zoom chat and walking around saying ‘hi.’ Based on its prior NFT success, it is safe to predict more growth with the Otherside metaverse.
Just recently, Yuga Labs announced it had launched a 24-hour news website covering this BAYC creator that $ APE will fully fund. The token, which is the platform’s utility token, continues to rally as its utility keeps growing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Founders of Yuga Labs?
Yuga Labs was founded by two tech enthusiasts, Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow. During the company’s launch, the two had not yet revealed their real names, as they went by the aliases Gordon Goner and Gargamel. However, the unveiling of the founder’s names came about with quite the criticism from Yuga Labs CEO, who believed that their choice to launch the company anonymously did not mean they weren’t accountable for the startup’s activities.
How much Is Yuga Labs Valued?
Around March 2022, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund 16z led a funding round for Bored Ape Yacht Club founder that accumulated $450M. After the funding round, Yuga Labs revealed it had achieved a $4B valuation.
Where Are Yuga Labs Based?
Yuga Labs has its main office in Miami, Florida, U.S.A, but its products, specifically NFTs, are available in several countries worldwide.
What Is the Bored Ape Yacht Club?
BAYC is a collection of 10s of thousands of Bored Ape NFTs that leverage the Ethereum blockchain. Bored Ape NFTs were created by Yuga Labs, a Miami-based Web3 and blockchain technology company.
What Is ApeCoin?
ApeCoin, an ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain, is the native cryptocurrency for Yuga Labs’ NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club. The ApeCoin Decentralized Autonomous Organization came to life in early 2021, and anyone who holds the APE token has a vote in matters of governance of the DAO.