Bored Ape Yacht Club creator raises $450 million to build metaverse project

Yuga Labs's upcoming metaverse project will look to integrate avatars from a number of NFT projects, including BAYC.

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Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT, has announced it is raising $450 million at a $4 billion valuation. The NFT company said the funds would be used to scale its team and operations, which it confirmed includes a new metaverse project called Otherside.

The metaverse project, Otherside, will integrate avatars from a number of NFT projects, including BAYC. Earlier this week, Yuga Labs tweeted a teaser that a metaverse project powered by its new ape-themed crypto coin, Ape Coin was in the works.

Among the investors are Andreessen Horowitz along with gaming studio Animoca Brands and cryptofirms FTX which are both already associated with YugaLabs.

Google, Samsung, Adidas as well as celebrities such as Colin Kaepernick, Shaquille O' Neal, Steve Aoki, and Timbaland among others also invested in the funding round.

"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. We're thrilled to invest in this brilliant team and their vision, and help forge the next frontier of community-owned entertainment," YugaLabs CEO Nicole Muniz said.

The metaverse announcement comes only a week after the launch of ApeCoin, which launched alongside a newly-created entity called ApeCoin DAO that is overseeing the coin's operation.

The entity's leadership consists of a council consisting of several faces tightly connected to Yuga Labs but are not directly employed by the startup. Members include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, FTX Gaming head Amy Wu, Maaria Bajwa of Sound Ventures, Yat Siu from Animoca Brands, and Dean Steinbeck of Horizen Labs.

A few weeks prior, Yuga Labs moved to consolidate the NFT space by acquiring CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs. 

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