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NFT Legends: Bored Ape Yacht Club

NFT Legends: Bored Ape Yacht Club
November 4, 2021

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On a recent stroll in NYC’s Soho neighborhood, a line around the block caught my attention. My instinct was to assume a new pastry had been making the rounds on social media and this area was the birthing ground. Looking for a sign mentioning doughnut waffles, apple cider cronuts, or some other amalgamation of baked goods, I was surprised to find it was an NFT pop-up. The popular NFT project catching headlines for millions of dollars earned at Christie’s, known as Bored Ape Yacht Club, was bringing its crypto Twitter stans together IRL.


If I’m starting to use words that don’t quite register, it’s no mistake. The entire universe of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and one of its most out-there projects is a veritable minefield of terms, references, and insider language that borders on gobbledygook (a real word, I swear). Reading about them in a recent Rolling Stones article, I begin to feel like my parents must have when I first texted “lol” or “btw.”  Turns out, it's part of the appeal. 

Bored Ape Yacht Club sells, or drops, NFT tokens resembling morose-looking Apes in sailor attire, similar to Cryptopunks, but takes the insider fanfare a step further by building an immersive experience for its token-holders. Ape holders can join the Bored Ape Kennel Club by getting a pet for their Apes, or snatch up tangible hats for thousands of dollars. We’re currently in the midst of the first Annual Ape Fest, running from Halloween to Nov. 6th (I must have witnessed the merch pop-up but missed the yacht party).

What’s striking about Bored Ape Yacht Club is the way in which the founders, or Goners, stumbled into this idea as members of the crypto Twitter-sphere. The idea started in early 2021 with a curiosity about combining a collectible-art component with community membership through gamification. A group of four thirty-somethings pile jokes on top of one another as they amble along creating a maximalist metaverse, or “Web3 lifestyle company.” The old adage “follow your bliss” might just carry over into this new world.

For some more insights into the blockchain/crypto sphere of startups, check out Uniswap, a popular network of decentralized finance apps, or Nansen, a company that tracks blockchain analytics.

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Funding & Deal Highlights:


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Collaboration Tools • Round A • Denver, CO

Contra raises $30MM from NEA

Collaboration • Round B • San Francisco, CA

Laika raises $35MM from JP Morgan Chase

Compliance • Round B • New York, NY

Braincheck raises $10MM from Next Coast Ventures

Brain Health • Round B • Houston, TX

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