Yuga Labs, the team behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), is rumoured to be in talks with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, for a possible investment in an upcoming founding round, which could value the BAYC creators at a whopping $5 billion (roughly Rs. 37,351 crore). Digital collectibles from the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 algorithmically generated unique animated images, have been snapped up by the likes of celebrities including Gwenyth Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon, with Justin Bieber forking out 500 ETH ($965,000 or roughly Rs. 7 crore) for one of the prized non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
As per an article from the Financial Times, undisclosed sources have stated the Bored Ape Yacht Club creator is raising funds from venture capital firms. It quotes sources to say that California-based Andreessen Horowitz is one of several companies/ individuals looking to take a multi-million dollar stake in Yuga Labs. According to people described as having “knowledge of the discussions”, the terms are subject to changes, and the talks may not necessarily lead to a deal.
However, people familiar with these talks also reportedly said that Yuga Lab could choose to issue crypto tokens to investors and existing holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
The deal would mark the first institutional investment into Yuga Labs, led by founders Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, No Sass, and Gargamel, who set up the Bored Ape project a little over a year ago. Andreessen Horowitz, meanwhile, was an early investor in Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Stripe. It has invested extensively in crypto projects, recently unveiling plans for a $4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 33,615 crore) crypto fund.
Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs have proven to be one of the most popular NFT collections in the space since its introduction back in April 2021. BAYC owners gain access to an exclusive Discord server, and many BAYC owners have also made use of Twitter’s new initiative to flaunt their NFTs as their Twitter profile picture. A multitude of celebrities ranging from Eminem and Jimmy Fallon to Steph Curry and Post Malone own BAYC NFTs.
As of February 4, the floor price for a Bored Ape NFT is 99.3 ETH (about $274,500 or roughly Rs. 2 crore). The company has also introduced several spinoff projects, including Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Ape Kennel Club.