The Bored Ape yacht Club (BAYC)’s parent company Yuga Labs has recently released its metaverse project called Otherside for the secondary market. This is a much-anticipated move in the Web 3.0 market as the whole premise of the NFT collection was to make a new NFT/metaverse project that will be useful for everyone. We will discuss the whole development in detail.
What is the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)?
BAYC is perhaps the most famous NFT collection to come out from the digital collectible market. Developed and sold by Yuga Labs, the NFT auction that was done through Sotheby’s fetched over $3.4 million. The total number of images in the collection was 10,000 and it has become a cult presence within the NFT market and a benchmark of success, in addition to becoming a big meme content as well.
The market value of the BAYC NFTs has since risen sharply because of the global appeal and not evenly across all images. Certain NFTs are more popular than others and therefore command big bucks. Some of them are approaching an astonishing $500,000 while others haven’t appreciated that much. It’s all about collectability at the moment. Overall, the BAYC NFTs have resulted in a transaction volume of more than $1 billion according to the latest estimates.
BAYC’s Metaverse Initiative
Buoyed by the success of their NFT collection, the BAYC team got to work and announced their first metaverse initiative called Otherside. The organization raised a massive $450 million in its seeding rounds for a total valuation of $4 billion, just for Otherside. It needs to be mentioned that Otherside hasn’t got any direct connection with BAYC’s NFT collection.
The team itself describes the new metaverse initiative as an MMORPG, which is basically an acronym for an online multiplayer game with a lot of users playing at the same time. The promise now is to create an interoperable world that is completely decentralized and will act as the catalyst for the development of the metaverse sector.
However, these are all just sound bites that resonate with the broader Web 3.0 and blockchain community. The actual working of the platform is still being analyzed and a better verdict will be available soon.
BAYC on a Consolidation Spree
Just like many other startups that raised big money, BAYC is also looking to acquire a bunch of companies that have already done the groundwork needed for a concept like Otherside. It has fully bought Crypto Punks and Meebits from Lava Labs. The company has also launched a cryptocurrency called Apecoin to tap into some of the fervor around the NFT collection. The token itself hasn’t got any connection with either the NFT collection or the Otherside metaverse initiative’s governance for now.
More importantly, Otherside is partnering with a few known gaming platforms to bring “the platform to life”. This is important because most of the metaverse projects are starting out similarly at the moment and are relying on gaming to set the tone and generate user activity.
Who Funded Otherside?
The funding round for the new metaverse initiative was led by prominent Web 3.0 investor VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, who has had successful investments with OpenSea, Dapper Labs and Coinbase itself. Coinbase, Moonpay and a few other big names also joined in the fray.
For these companies, the need to invest in BAYC and its metaverse platform is necessary to counterbalance the centralized approach being shoved down the tech community’s throats by Meta (formerly Facebook). For them, a decentralized metaverse needs to be better than the centralized monopolistic regime being developed by Meta. These investors have the power and monetary power to compete, and even if not a match to the social media nemesis but they perhaps know this space better than it.
Yugo Labs made around $137 million last year, which is a lot of money but we have to keep in mind that it was the year of its only major success, that is the BAYC NFT collection. It remains to be seen how the company will respond with concrete developments of its own.