‘Bored Ape’ NFT startup Yuga Labs appoints Activision operating chief as CEO
Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club, has appointed “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard chief operating officer Daniel Alegre as its new CEO. The metaverse startup announced Monday that Alegre will join the company as its chief executive.
He will succeed Nicole Muniz as Yuga’s CEO in the first half of 2023, while Muniz will stay on as a partner and strategic advisor to the company. In a filing on Friday, Alegre notified Activision that he plans to leave for another opportunity after his current term, which ends Mar. 31 next year. Alegre served as operating chief at the videogame publisher since April 2020.
In a statement, Alegre said: “Since exploding onto the scene with Bored Ape Yacht Club in 2021, Yuga Labs has quickly made a name for itself through a powerful combination of storytelling and community-building.”
The appointment of Alegre as the new CEO comes just two months after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)launched an investigation into Yuga Labs over securities violations. As we reported back then, the SEC is investigating Yuga Labs over whether its Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Ethereum NFTs and the ApeCoin token violate federal law.
Early this year, Yuga Labs raised $450 million in funding to build an NFT metaverse. The round, which was led by a16z crypto, with participation from top-tier game studios, brings the company’s valuation to $4 billion.
NFT is a type of cryptographic token on a blockchain that represents a unique digital asset that represents real-world objects — such as art, music, real estate, and beyond — and can’t be replicated.
In an online sale on April 30, Yuga Labs said it sold NFTs called “Otherdeeds”, which it said could be exchanged as plots of virtual land in a future Bored Ape-themed online environment called “Otherside.” The demand for high-profile NFTs has grown in recent months. The company said on Twitter that all the 55,000 Otherdeeds listed for sale at 305 ApeCoin each had sold out.
The term metaverse, short for “meta-universe,” was originally coined by Neal Stephenson in the dystopian novel “Snow Crash” three decades ago. In the book, Stephenson describes the metaverse as a three-dimensional virtual reality generated by goggles worn by the novel’s hero, Hiro.
This year, the global metaverse market is expected to rise to $47.48 billion this year before surging to $678.8 billion by 2030, according to data from research firm Statista.