Yuga Labs Buys NFT Collections Of CryptoPunks And Meebits

Bored Ape Yacht Club creator, Yuga Labs buys CryptoPunks and Meebits to provide the companies with commercial rights as it does for BAYC.

Yuga Labs, the company behind the wildly popular Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible token collection, has acquired the intellectual property of CryptoPunks and Meebits from Larva Labs, a pioneer in the NFT area.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Yuga currently owns the brands, copyright in the art, and other IP rights for both collections, as well as 423 CryptoPunks and 1,711 Meebits NFTs, according to the agreement. The transaction demonstrates that the NFT craze, which uses blockchain technology to authenticate ownership of digital items, is still alive and well.

Yuga Labs announced the deal on Friday, saying it “came about in a very organic way through conversations between our partner Guy Oseary and the Larva Labs founders.” Bored Ape Yacht Club and its Yuga Labs were signed for representation by Oseary, a music industry vet and tech investor whose management clients include Madonna, U2, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Yuga Labs claims that now that it owns the CryptoPunks and Meebits IP, it will provide CryptoPunks and Meebits owners the same commercial rights as owners of the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club. “We’re working with our legal teams to draft revised terms and conditions for both collections,” the business said. “By turning over these rights, we’re connecting CryptoPunks and Meebits even more closely with the web3 ethos, and we expect a wide spectrum of third-party developers and community artists to include CryptoPunks and Meebits into their web3 projects.”

CryptoPunks, which was released in 2017, was a major driver of the NFT craze that began in early 2021. The CryptoPunks character NFTs (examples depicted above) are 8-bit-style pixel art “misfits and eccentrics” that are algorithmically generated and uniquely unique.

According to OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, fans and speculators have traded $2.2 billion worth of CryptoPunks NFTs, followed by more than $1 billion worth of 10,000 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. According to OpenSea, Meebits NFTs have traded for roughly $227 million.

“Yuga Labs are the innovators of the modern profile picture project, and the best in the world at operating these projects,” Larva Labs cofounders Matt Hall and John Watkinson said in a joint statement. “They are the ideal stewards of the CrytoPunks and Meebits. In their hands, we are confident that they will continue to be vital, thriving projects in the emerging decentralized web.”

Hall and Watkinson will not be joining Yuga Labs; instead, they will continue to manage Larva Labs and “keep doing what they do best: building fantastic projects that help define the future of web3,” according to Yuga.

Yuga has stated that it will not “shoehorn” the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections into the club model it has created for Bored Ape Yacht Club, in which it takes a cut of secondary NFT sales. “At Yuga, we see BAYC as the hub of the universe we’re creating, and CryptoPunks as a historic collection.” While we will try to make the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections more useful, we will do so as responsible stewards. We’re not in any hurry. Before we decide what to do next, we’ll consult with the community.”

“For us, NFTs have always been about culture,” Yuga continued. “Our vision has always been to build a community-owned brand that extends far beyond NFTs, and now we get to bring CryptoPunks and Meebits along for the ride.”

Meanwhile, according to the Financial Times, Yuga Labs has been in talks with VC firm Andreessen Horowitz about a fundraising package that could value the NFT operator at up to $5 billion.