Bored Apes Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs announced Friday that it has acquired the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections from creator Larva Labs.
Bored Apes and CryptoPunks are the two most valuable NFT collections by market cap, with a combined value of at least about $3.6 billion at current prices. Rumor has it that Yuga Labs has been in fundraising talks for the past few months, but has not made any official announcements.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
CryptoPunks and Meebits NFTs are owned by community members, but the characters’ intellectual property rights have long been (and controversially) owned by the creators of the projects. With this announcement, Yuga Labs indicated that they will give the full commercial rights of the NFTs to the individual holders; notably, they won’t transfer full copyright, but it’s a step further than Larva Labs ever went and something owners have longed for.
Big news to share today: Yuga has acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from @LarvaLabs, and the first thing we do is give the full commercial rights to the NFT holders. Just like we did for owners of BAYC and MAYC. pic.twitter.com/lAIKKvoEDj
— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) March 11, 2022
“We have long admired CryptoPunks and the work of the project’s founders, Matt & John. They’ve pushed NFTs and the wider crypto world forward, and we’re honored to carry the brands they’ve built into the future that we’re building at Yuga,” a tweet from the Yuga Labs Twitter account.
The CryptoPunks project was launched in 2017 with 10,000 NFTs claimed for free by users; it is widely regarded as one of the earliest NFT projects and one of the most influential. In late 2020, the prices of the pixelated portraits started to rise with the rarest selling for millions of dollars and the cheapest now selling for nearly $200,000. In May 2021, the Larva Labs founders released a follow-up project called Meebits, which earned tens of millions of dollars in primary sales within hours of launch.
The Larva Labs founders have almost completely divested themselves from the project at this point, with Yuga Labs describing in a blog post that they also purchased 423 CryptoPunks and 1,711 Meebits from the company, leaving the founders with only a few alongside their generative art project. Autoglyphs that were not part of the deal.
Yuga Labs has taken a more aggressive path to actively build the community of the Bored Apes project, revealing a partnership.
“However, this is not an acquisition of Larva Labs… As for the future for us, we never talk about that until it’s done, but overall we’re excited to get back to what we’re good at, which is working on weird new stuff,” reads a blog post from the founders of Larva Labs.
Flashback to my CryptoPunks feature last year…
“We never intended for this to become some kind of our career,” [Larva Labs co-founder John] Watkinson says.https://t.co/X4iTSl6FjC
— Luke Matney (@lucasmtny) March 11, 2022
This post Bored Apes Creator Yuga Labs Acquires CryptoPunk’s NFT Collection TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/11/bored-apes-maker-yuga-labs-acquires-cryptopunks-nft-collection/”