NFT: Yuga Labs faces layoffs and focuses on restructuring

The CEO of Yuga Labs declares that the company “has lost its direction”, while the NFT producer Bored Ape announces numerous layoffs. 

The company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, is undergoing a restructuring with the goal of returning to the simpler and more fragmented structure of its early days. 

Let’s see below all the details. 

Yuga Labs aims to return to its roots with a smaller and more fragmented approach

As anticipated, Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, has continued its recent process of change by announcing a new restructuring that will include new layoffs after a previous wave that occurred in October.

Greg “Garga” Solano, co-founder of Yuga Labs who returned to the role of CEO in February, announced the news via Twitter on Friday, sharing screenshots of a Slack message sent to the team: 

“I owe everyone a sincere and transparent explanation of what led to this decision. In short, Yuga has lost his way.” 

Solano added that in order to find the right direction, the company needs a smaller, more agile team focused on cryptocurrency, focused on doing fewer things but doing them with excellence.

However, the exact number of positions that will be cut is not yet known. 

The highs and lows of Yuga Labs’ NFT projects

We remind you that Yuga Labs, founded at the beginning of 2021, launched the NFT Bored Ape Yacht Club project on Ethereum three years ago. 

In a few months, the collection of 10,000 unique profile pictures has become one of the most influential brands in the sector, with a starting price of almost $430,000 in ETH in April 2022 on the secondary markets.

The company has grown rapidly, raising $450 million in March 2022 with a valuation of $4 billion, and has acquired the intellectual property of the NFT project CryptoPunks from its creator, Larva Labs. 

The Bored Ape ecosystem has also launched ApeCoin (APE), a cryptocurrency officially associated with an independent foundation, which has brought significant gains to NFT holders and Yuga Labs.

Yuga Labs then focused on gaming with the announcement of Otherside, a metaverse game supported by NFT land parcels that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales by the end of April 2022. 

However, that sale has been criticized due to its design and high network fees, and the Bored Ape ecosystem has faced numerous challenges since then.

The new company strategy

Meanwhile, NFTs have experienced a price drop of 90% compared to their peak. On the other hand, Yuga Labs has yet to launch Otherside despite several test events. 

Furthermore, the company recently sold some of its gaming-related intellectual properties at the beginning of the month to simplify and refocus. 

Greg “Garga” Solano has stated that the organization has become too large without achieving sufficient results. According to Solano, the creative spirit that guided Yuga Labs has been stifled by a complex corporate structure. 

He noticed that the company works hard and with commitment, but internal processes have become excessively bureaucratic, with too many groups and committees planning more than they produce.

Solano remembered that Yuga Labs was made up of about a dozen people when they received a high valuation. At the time, the ethos was simple: do only what excited them and do it quickly. 

Their growth has been helped by factors such as royalties for creators, which have made their ecosystem vibrant and profitable. However, the recent change in the markets has made it more difficult to earn from royalties. 

With the sale of HV-MTL and the intellectual properties of Legends of the Mara Gaming, Yuga Labs is looking to refocus, returning to a leaner working mode and focusing on smaller but faster projects.

Solano explained that, historically, Yuga Labs’ greatest successes have come from ideas turned into reality in less than three months. 

The CEO stated that he will soon reveal a new strategic plan, aiming to remain “lean,” with fewer large projects, but with greater speed and efficiency.