Yuga Labs and Bored Ape Yacht Club cofounder is taking back control of

 

Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre has been pushed out of the top spot. Cofounder Greg Solano, commonly referred to by the moniker Gargamel (or Garga), has taken back control of the company known for stewarding NFT collections including the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Cryptopunks.

“I am stepping back in as CEO of Yuga Labs,” Solano wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Wylie [Aronow, Yuga Labs co-founder] and I are grateful for all the contributions and operational rigor Daniel has brought to the company, and appreciate his thoughtfulness and mentorship over the past year.”

Alegre, an Activision alum who spent less than a year at Yuga Labs, tweeted he was “grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this great team and to have connected globally with so many community members. Yuga has such a bright future.”

The news comes on the heels of an announcement last week that Yuga Labs is acquiring Proof Collective, owners of the valuable NFT collection Moonbirds. Broadly speaking, Yuga Labs aspires to become an NFT entertainment conglomerate, like a Web3 Disney; the three-year-old company has been working on metaverse-based games since 2022.

But Yuga faces some tough headwinds. NFT trading lost 81% of its volume from January 2022 to this past July, according to blockchain-watcher DappRadar. A report released by DappRadar in September suggested that most NFTs were worthless. At the peak of 2022’s crypto craze, the Moonbirds sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece; today, the floor price sits around $3,000.

In August, NFT marketplace OpenSea stopped forcing customers to pay royalties on their NFT purchases, meaning Yuga Labs no longer collects a 2.5% commission whenever someone trades one of their NFTs. Those fees totaled more than $154 million in revenue for Yuga across three of its biggest collections: the Bored Ape Yacht Club, spin-off Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and metaverse land plots Otherdeeds, according to blockchain analytics group Nansen. In October, the company, which raised more than $450 million from the likes of A16z and Thrive Capital en route to a $4 billion valuation, laid off several employees as part of a broad restructuring. 

In his tweet, Solano announced that the Bored Ape Yacht club will be spun out into a subsidiary, Bay LLC. Solano promised the company would also be providing more frequent updates on their gaming platform, Otherside. “We’re going on three years since Yuga was founded,” Solano wrote, “and we couldn’t be more excited about some of the stuff we’ve got in the pipeline.”