Yuga Labs, the business behind the heavily hyped Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, is hoping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars by selling off virtual plots of land.
A pitch deck obtained by The Block outlines projections for the sales, as well as information about a sweeping new metaverse initiative, Yuga’s planned token, and key financial metrics.
According to the document, Yuga made a cool $127 million in net revenue last year, a figure it projects will reach $455 million in 2022 — chiefly through proceeds from the virtual land sales.
The deck, which was last updated in February, had been circulated to investors as part of an ongoing fundraising process. Yuga is looking to raise fresh funds at a valuation of as much as $5 billion, according to a report last month by the Financial Times.
The firm’s collection of cartoon primates has surged to prominence over the past year, thanks in part to high profile purchases by celebrities such as Serena Williams, Jimmy Fallon and Snoop Dogg. Including sales on the secondary market, BAYC NFTs have changed hands for more than $1 billion in total.
Now, Yuga plans to broaden its offering. The virtual land sales are the first phase of a metaverse initiative that aims to diversify revenue away from selling ape-based NFT images.
“We want to build something that expands the universe of the BAYC, but also invites the larger NFT community (and those priced out of BAYC membership) to join,” the company explained in its deck.
To that end, Yuga is planning to build a gaming-focused metaverse named MetaRPG that will be compatible with a host of NFTs.
There will be a system — described as an “in-game app store” — that will allow players to create characters using NFTs they own or from scratch, outfit them (again with NFTs), and use them in games, according to the deck.
Another crucial component of the proposed world is currency, which Yuga will provide in the form of a much-rumoured token named APECoin.
The token will be used to make purchases in Yuga’s planned app store, and the company said in its deck that it will also encourage “trading and bartering.”
Yuga’s grand metaverse plan will kick off with the sale of virtual land in the form of NFTs, which will be linked to plots in the metaverse game. These plots will contain distinct traits such as natural resources, artifacts, and in some cases rare characters.
In total, 200,000 plots will be distributed across two sales in March and August this year — and Yuga hopes to raise $178 million (in addition to secondary sale proceeds) from each sale. The company will retain a portion of the virtual land for itself. Animoca Brands, a digital studio that's also building a racing game with Yuga, will be involved in the launch, per the document.
BAYC teased a new partnership with Animoca on March 11. No details were revealed, but interested parties were invited to complete identity checks to learn more at a later date. BAYC said in a tweet that the Animoca announcement had been in the works for seven months.
Yuga has had a busy start to the year. Last week, the company also announced it had acquired the intellectual property rights of CryptoPunks and Meebits, two prized NFT collections, from Larva Labs.
The Block reached out to Yuga Labs and Animoca for comment on this story but didn't hear back by press time.
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