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Yuga Labs, the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT brand, announced today that it has made a strategic investment in Hadean, a spatial computing startup that is helping bring Yuga’s upcoming Otherside metaverse to life.
Hadean is providing technology to help scale the game to potentially support vast numbers of players at the same time. A Yuga Labs representative clarified to Decrypt that Hadean will be instrumental to the "next phase of development" on Otherside, along with other technical partners.
More than 7,200 simultaneous players participated in Otherside’s “Second Trip” playtest in March, filling the game world with hordes of avatars. Those playtests were built with Improbable's MSquared metaverse tech and did not include Hadean's participation.
Yuga Labs declined to disclose the amount invested in Hadean, but a representative said that it was “meaningful” in the context of Hadean’s previous funding round. The startup last raised $5 million in March, following a $30 million Series A raise in September 2022 that included participation from Fortnite maker Epic Games.
With the new funding, Hadean will establish a United States-based team to work alongside Yuga Labs on Otherside, with a focus on “mass concurrency”—that is, the ability to support many players in the same online environment at the same time.
“As we double down on Otherside, and look to build out unique, live experiences in entertainment and gaming, we are excited about deepening our commitment through investing for the long term with Hadean,” said Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre in a statement.
In September, Yuga Labs announced a commercial agreement with Hadean focused on the tech behind Otherside. Yuga also announced technical and creative collaborations with startups AccelByte, Bad Rhino, and Faraway at the same time, all focused on Otherside.
Hadean has primarily been referred to as a metaverse infrastructure startup. Spatial computing typically refers to the crossover of digital technology with real-world applications, with Apple’s Vision Pro mixed-reality headset considered a prominent example of a spatial computer.
In addition to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the most prominent NFT projects on the market, Yuga Labs also owns the IP to the influential CryptoPunks NFT collection. The startup raised $450 million in March 2022 at a $4 billion valuation, and has gradually made gaming a larger focus as it continues to build out Otherside.
Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to clarify Hadean's role on Otherside, and that it was not involved with the Second Trip playtest in March.