The non-fungible token (NFT) phenomenon swarmed the crypto market last year like nobody’s business and with such finesse. From 2021’s NFT frenzy, we have now entered the metaverse mania and one name that just would not quit is — Yugalabs! Like hello who this?!
When celebrities were switching their profile pictures to pieces from the premium NFT collection during the NFT frenzy, even then Yugalabs was one name that would constantly come up. Following this, now, when we are discussing PFP NFT collections with token ecosystems, DAOs, and a full-blown metaverse landscape planned out, we still continue to hear of Yuga labs. So, who tf is Yugalabs and how do I befriend this allegedly popular kid? Do I need to wear pink on Wednesdays? Probably not, right?
Let me break it down for you. Yugalabs is the company behind the Bored Apes and other NFT collections. In simple words, it owns NFT brands like the BAYC and MAYC universe. Alongside that, they also released other eminent projects such as Bored Kennel Club, and now, the trending ApeCoin.
Yugalabs’ founders, formerly known only by their pseudonyms Gargamel and Gordon Goner are actually Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow who made the infamous choice to quit their Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) to start their core brand aka the Ape franchise. Following this, the dropouts went directly after their immediate competition and guess what? They bought them! Seems like whomsoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t have enough money to literally go on a multi-million dollar shopping spree of the legendary NFT projects CryptoPunks and Meetbits from developer LarvaLabs.
Yugalabs’ $450M Funding Secret — Shop Value, Seek Value
Post its grand investment, Yugalabs said “now that we have an insane valuation, let’s ask richer dudes with even higher valuations to invest in us so we can later buy more shit and become those richer dudes”. And that is exactly what they did. The company secured $450 million at a $4 billion valuation in a round led by venture capital giant a16z). The NFT sphere’s leader claimed to put this money toward furthering the ultimate crypto evolution or as a16z would describe it — a web3 shift.
In light of this, Yugalabs announced its metaverse project called ‘Otherside‘. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that aims to connect the broader NFT universe. The BAYC founder noted that the company wants to create a completely decentralized, gamified, interoperable world. He further added that “the real Ready Player One experience will be player run”, hinting at ApeCoin’s DAO. Despite Yugalabs’ ApeCoin aiming to concentrate on acquiring credibility as an in-game asset, they stood out, unlike any other in-game NFT project by launching the Ape Foundation to oversee the operations and updates for the “decentralized and community-led governance” along with “administering the decisions of the ApeCoin DAO”.
The Metaverse, also known as Ape Land or Yuga Land, will drop in April. There is no date announced yet, so be careful with any fake minting links out there in the upcoming weeks.
What Would You Choose — Coachella or Ape Fest?
The much anticipated Ape metaverse by Yugalabs is just around the corner. The hype is only getting more hysterically razzmatazz as the second Ape Fest dates are now final. And it falls in sync with the NYC.NFT event this year. Ape Fest 2021 became more popular than your same old mainstream Coachella. The lines were long and the wait was even longer to get into this elite club. But with the wristband, we entered the BAYC warehouse party and spent some green on merch that made us cooler than Kanye. Now, YugaLabs has confirmed the dates for the second Ape fest for June 20- 23 in Manhattan. So get on your monkey shoes and get ready for this year’s up-and-coming monkey business meetings.
Yugalabs’ Ape franchise may just initiate the move into web3, with the entertainment industry’s OG NFT legend — Snoop Dogg or Hollywood’s Paris Hilton hopping around with the monkeys. Following these pop-culture dynamites, institutional leaders like TIME magazine have also hopped on the Ape car to ride into web3, to pass FOMO-land, and instead pass a virtual joint made of the Dogg’s virtual stash at a virtual invite-only afterparty.