During the booming growth of NFTs in 2021, many developers released their NFTs to cash on the emerging opportunities, but none became half as successful as the BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club) collection by Yuga labs. Since its inception popularity of BAYC has increased exponentially and soon Yuga labs became a household name in the crypto community. Starting from PFP(Profile picture) NFTs, the company has now achieved a $4 billion valuation and is all set to launch its Metaverse in 2023. Amazing, Isn’t it?
For a company founded two years ago, a trajectory like Yuga labs projects wild growth. Wondering about what they did differently from its competitors to cement its position in the industry?
Let’s dive deeper to understand the exclusive approach & growth trajectory of Yuga labs.
The Founding Team Behind Yuga Lab’s
The company was founded by two gamers & real-life friends, Greg Solano and Wylie Aronow. They named it after a villain of “The Legend of Zelda” game series who owns the power to convert creatures into 2D art. Initially, Solano, Aronow, and their two friends started working with artists to create apes for BAYC, their first NFT collection on Ethereum Blockchain.
Background of BAYC
Yuga labs is the creator of one of the most renowned NFT projects, BAYC(Bored Ape Yacht Club). The project consists of 10,000 unique ape-themed NFTs with different characteristics. The creative story behind the concept of BAYC is based on the tendencies of crypto enthusiasts to invest in unproven investment opportunities (i.e. crypto). As per the assumption, in 2031, the world will be taken over by crypto, and these individuals will make huge profits. These wealthy individuals, referred to as Ape (twitter slang in crypto), will then be bored and form an exclusive club to hang out with like-minded individuals.
The Secret of Success
BAYC is not an exclusive PFP NFT with distinguished characters; there are many other existing collections with a library of unique characters & traits. The question is, what made BAYC different from the other NFTs and contributed to its success?
During the NFT wave, most companies launched several NFT collections without focusing on their use cases and utilities. However, the Yuga labs introduced the idea of community building with the launch of BAYC. By owning Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, members automatically become members of an exclusive club. It empowers members by offering different perks like early access to new offerings and merchandise, granting them full IP rights, etc. Ever since the start of BAYC, the members have been encouraged to commercialise the use of NFTs. It led to several projects, including an Ape-themed California burger joint named Bored and Hungry, music group KINGSHIP and beverage company Ape water, opened by BAYC members.
The idea of community building & enabling the members to make money with their NFTs is the central force behind the community’s loyalty, which eventually led to the unparalleled success of Yuga labs.
New Launches to Sustain Euphoria
After the phenomenal success of BAYC, within a year, Yuga labs launched another NFT collection named Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC). BAKC consists of 10,000 unique digital dogs bred as companions for the Bored Apes. The company decided to distribute its 10,000 BAKC among the BAYC members for free.
Soon after the Bored Ape Kennel Club, the company launched a collection of mutants named Mutant Ape Yacht Club. For BAYC members, mutants serum was airdropped, which can be used to mint Mutant Apes. All these new launches helped further strengthen the community-building efforts and maintain the euphoria built by the BAYC’s success.
Expansion of Yuga Lab’s: Acquisitions, Apecoin and Metaverse
As Yuga labs allows members for secondary sales, it earns a 2.5% royalty fee over the collections until they are active. This works as an additional stream of income for Yuga labs and helps in expanding its ecosystem. It also distinguishes it from other NFTs, which solely rely on the primary sale. Adding to its vigorous growth, it has acquired two big competitors, NFT collections Cryptopunks and Meebits, from Larva labs.
Yuga labs has always valued the community and often involved the community in decision-making. It also launched ApeCoin, an ERC-20 token as a governance & utility token to put the decision-making power in the hands of the community. It has the vision to run BAYC economy with the help of ApeCoin. With its recent funding of $450M, it has achieved a $4 B valuation and is set to launch the beta version of its gamified interoperable Metaverse named “Otherside” in 2023.
In the era of Web3, community building is the most significant aspect of the growth of any project. The idea of decentralisation fundamentally empowers the community in the most democratising way. The exponential growth of Yuga labs & BAYC ecosystem represents the power of community building. By introducing innovative use cases and utilities, Yuga labs has almost built a blockchain empire, starting from a PFP NFT. The next move of entering into gamified Metaverse might enhance its influence over the web3 ecosystem. The “Otherside” and its adoption rate by its community will unfold what the future holds for the Yuga labs.