Yuga Labs, the NFT company behind the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token (NFT) collections, has eliminated a number of roles as part of a restructuring to focus on core initiatives, according to an announcement post on Friday.
A company spokesperson would not specify the number of employees affected by the downsizing to Unchained but pointed to a tweet that said Yuga Labs had 120 workers remaining. The impacted roles were primarily in the United States. Yuga Labs is offering severance packages and employment assistance to former employees.
The cuts come only 18 months after Yuga closed a $450 million seed funding round at a $4 billion valuation that was led by venture capital giant a16z.
“When I joined Yuga six months ago, my first priority was to lay out a clear vision that focused our team on the creative storytelling and community building that is at the core of Yuga. I also went on a listening tour to understand every aspect of our business and ensure that the makeup of our team and our projects were aligned with our goals,” wrote Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre in a letter sent out to the company before the news was made public.
Layoffs have become commonplace in the crypto industry in the wake of an extended bear market. Earlier this week, open source, software provider Chia Network cut more than a third of its workforce and Utopia Labs, a provider of crypto payment services and stablecoin on- and off-ramps, announced its own job cuts.
Alegre added: “I realized very quickly that there were a number of projects that, while well-intentioned, either spread the team too thin or required execution expertise beyond our core competencies,” he continued.
The priorities going forward will include continued support for Yuga Labs communities, including Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and CryptoPunks., which the company acquired in March 2022 alongside Meebits. Yuga Labs also owns Web3 ecosystem WENEW and its flagship NFT collection 10KTF, which it acquired in November 2022.
The company says it is all-in on its Otherside metaverse strategy, which includes gaming, entertainment experiences and interactive social connections. Yuga Labs will continue to seek partnerships with technology providers and brands like the previous tie-ins with luxury brand Gucci and social media marketing agency Bad Rhino.
CORRECTION (October 6, 2023, 3:48 p.m. ET): Corrects headline. Yuga Labs is the creator of BAYC. The company acquired Cryptopunks in 2022.