Yuga Labs: Investing in The Future of Culture and Web3

Cobalt Capital
3 min readMar 22, 2022

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As investors at the intersection of culture, technology, and the consumer economy we have been following the meteoric rise in NFT popularity and largely taken a “wait and see”’ approach. However, we believe a paradigm shift has occurred and now is the perfect time to invest behind a cultural brand redefining the Web3 ecosystem.

NFT sales reached $17.7B in 2021, up from $82.5M in 2020 — a jump of more than 200 times. According to reports, OpenSea alone has averaged $2.9B in GMV per month since July, up from only $8M in GMV in January 2021.

Despite this growth, the widespread adoption of blockchain and NFTs is still in its infancy. In particular, only ~13% of Americans and 3% global citizens have purchased crypto at all, while only 2% of Americans have either purchased or sold an NFT.

Given this backdrop, there is a massive opportunity to build the “Disney®” equivalent for Web3; a brand name in a space where intellectual property and experience have the potential to dictate enormous outcomes.

Enter Yuga Labs.

Yuga Labs (“Yuga”) is a Web3 company exploring ideas in identity, ownership, utility, and interoperability to push the crypto and NFT space forward into new dimensions. Yuga is the holding company of some of the most well-known NFT projects and ambitions to create a true metaverse economy behind them. As an example, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) was created in April and has arguably become the most notorious and one of the most valuable NFT collections in the market today. The BAYC collections account for ~10% of the volume on OpenSea alone. The company has since introduced several spinoff projects including Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Ape Kennel Club, as well as recently acquired the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs. Yuga now owns the IP for two of the biggest blue chip NFT collections and combines Yuga Labs’ utility development with Larva Labs’ reputation, enabling a more dynamic utilization of IP.

Yuga Labs also sits at the intersection of culture and web3. Well-known ape holders include Justin Bieber, Mark Cuban, Steph Curry, Paris Hilton, Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, Neymar, The Chainsmokers, Rolling Stones, and many more. Yuga’s interoperable gaming metaverse — a MetaRGP — aims to leverage storytelling, pop culture, and technology to bring people together in a shared virtual space. Additionally, in its first step toward facilitating their own metaverse, Yuga recently announced it would adopt APECoin as its primary token and launched a trailer of Otherside.

Cobalt is extremely excited to participate in Yuga’s first capital raise led by Andreesen Horowitz. Cobalt’s partnership with Yuga will help them build the most well-known brand in the industry, leveraging our experience building amazing consumer technology companies and partnering with some of the most dynamic founders in the world.

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