Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, has just announced their acquisition of Meebits and CryptoPunks from Larva Labs. 

The market consolidation has caught the attention of many crypto enthusiasts and even mainstream financial experts because Bored Apes and CryptoPunks are the two most valuable and popular collections in the art marketplaces at the moment. 

Their combined worth is worth as much as $3,6 billion, which to many is a stunning amount because the collections hold around twenty thousand NFTs in total. 

The acquisition has come after months of rumors around Yuga labs fundraising and seeking investment from venture capitalists and other potential investors. The terms of the deal have yet to be announced. 

“We’ve long admired CryptoPunks, and the work of the project’s founders, Matt & John. They’ve pushed NFTs and the broader crypto world forward, and we’re honored to carry the brands they’ve built into the future we’re building at Yuga,” says a tweet from Yuga Labs. 

To many Yuga, Labs made a strategic market move as CryptoPunks is one of the most influential and popular projects on the market. It was created in 2017 with 10 000 unique pixel art pieces and has recently skyrocketed in prices, with some non-fungible tokens being sold for around $200,000.

Meebits is a continuation of Larva Lab’s effort to establish itself on the NFT market, following the hype around CryptoPunks, they released the new NFT collection and saw tens of millions in revenue hours after the launch.

Some in the NFT appear very happy with how the most popular NFT collections have come under the same banner. They claim that Yuga Labs are more accountable to the community and have done more to give back to the people. 

One instance is the fact that CryptoPunk and Meebits NFT owners did not have the intellectual property rights of their avatars, but instead, the company had complete control over the project. Yuga Labs has given full commercial rights to each holder, and even though this is not the entire copyright, it’s much more than Larva Labs had even done.

They further cite the many instances in which the people behind Yuga Labs have gone out of their way to raise awareness for important causes or have taken out of their funds to donate. For example, a $4 million donation was recently given to aid the Ukrainian government in its defense against Russia. 

When it comes to Yuga Lab’s plans, they claim to be on the way to building a “community of builders” by using the two projects to increase the popularity of NFTs further and bring benefits that will trickle down to the members of the communities. 

“Everybody knows CryptoPunks, everybody loves CryptoPunks,” says Greg Solano, co-founder of the Bored Ape Club. It’s just iconic, ahead of its time. It’s visionary, and it’s going to be here forever. We were just immediately excited about it without knowing at all what we would want the next step to be.”

Along with buying the collections, Yuga Labs also made sure to increase their market share of the valuable NFTs by buying 400 CryptoPunks and 1,700 Meebits from Larva Labs. 

Yuga Lab’s power over the NFT market is definitely growing. Data by OpenSea suggests that more than $1 billion in revenue has been traded only in relation to non-fungible tokens from the collection. Only CryptoPunks $2.2 billion has been able to beat that. 

The purchase of those two notorious NFT collections comes as Yuga Labs is expanding their business operations into other fields. They have recently launched their merch drops, dropped a mobile game, and have held an event full of celebrities in Brooklyn.

Wylie Aronow, Bored Ape Yacht Club co-founder, says “We see ourselves with tentacles into all those things: streetwear, events, gaming, NFTs, et cetera,” 

“It’s just a matter of figuring out and extending that utility to these new IPs.”

Some crypto experts have questioned how profitable this consolidation of collections is. Larva Labs hasn’t received cuts for reselling of CryptoPunks and Meebits, and Yuga Labs hasn’t given plans to use that model, nor have they mentioned an intention to use the “membership club” model they have for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. 

To many, in spite of the uncertain financial soundness of the decision, the news is exciting because they show how NFT companies are maturing and becoming more professional. Yuga Labs has 50 employees now instead of 11 and is taking the best practices from standard businesses while also using the innovative approach that the web3 technology offers. 

Lavra Labs’s Future 

Despite having the collections bought one, Larva Labs have said that they have other projects in mind. However, they commented that “This is not an acquisition of Larva Labs… As for what’s next for us, we never talk about that until it’s ready, but in general we’re excited to get back to what we do best, which is working on weird new stuff,”

The co-founders, Matt Hall and John Watkinson commented that they think Yuga Labs can better handle the future of the project, and they are in the works for future projects. 

The duo launched the project as an experiment in digital art but as time passed by, they commented “We felt like we were less and less suited to this as a couple of software developer experimentalist kind of people.”