What Yuga Labs wants to build after raising $450M

The Yuga Labs investor deck from February is a fascinating document, bringing together gaming, a new currency, and an ever-growing pool of digital assets that can be bought and sold by fans of Yuga’s well-known NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club.

I ran through the deck last night and again this morning to get a better grip on the company’s financials, expectations, and business promise. But we can’t really get into those matters until we talk about what the company has in mind — recall that Yuga raised $450 million at a $4 billion valuation, a deal that it announced earlier this week.

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No one is having more fun than the web3 folks today as they find themselves in the nearly unique position of seeing their current fascination (blockchain-based assets and related applications) also become the object of ample investor interest and consumer demand. That doesn’t happen too often.

With popular NFT projects under its belt, and some evidence of ability to use one collection of digital assets to grow another, Yuga has ambitious plans for the coming years. It also has a fresh half-billion in capital to help power its vision. This morning, let’s talk about what it wants to build, and how the economics shake out.

If things go according to plan, Yuga is about to make a lot of money.

Universe of the Bored Apes

Yuga wants to build something that “expands the universe” of Bored Ape Yacht Club, but “invites the larger NFT community” at the same time. More simply, the company wants to build atop its early success while making room for wider participation. That’s pretty reasonable.

Yuga is not big on present-day efforts to build metaverses. Missing in today’s metaverse efforts, per the company, are things like “purpose,” “shared goals,” and “real stakes,” along with “connections,” “decisions,” and a “story.” It sums up its view by noting that a simple social hub set in a virtual world is not enough to command consumer attention over a longer time horizon.

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