Bored Ape NFTs creator Yuga Labs joins in on crypto sector layoffs

The announcement follows a series of layoffs in the crypto sector. — Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

Yuga Labs, the crypto company behind the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks nonfungible token collections, said it is laying off some staff across its business as part of an internal restructuring.

Employees were informed of the changes in an email by newcomer chief executive Daniel Alegre on Friday (Oct 6), who said that his six months at the company had shown that it required streamlining. "I realised 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 said in the email, which was published online by Yuga.

A spokesperson for Yuga declined to specify the number of employees affected. Yuga co-founder Greg Solano said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the firm still has more than 120 members of staff. Founded in 2021, Yuga was last valued at US$4bil (RM18.91bil) after closing a US$450mil (RM2bil) funding round in March last year.

A former president of gaming giant Activision Blizzard, Alegre noted that the firm had overseen "a few rocky rollouts” of its various ventures into video-game development as a result of trying to build everything in-house. He also noted a lack of sufficient progress in its planned metaverse platform Otherside, development of which was first announced in 2022.

The announcement follows a series of layoffs in the crypto sector, most recently on Thursday (Oct 5) by crypto hardware firm Ledger, which terminated 12% of its workforce. Several other projects in NFTs and decentralised finance also took steps to lay off staff or shut down altogether this month, including Moonbirds creator Proof and the Paradigm-backed lending startup Yield Protocol. – Bloomberg

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