Pudgy Penguins, a non-fungible token collection that has weathered the storm in the cryptocurrency bear market, announced the close of a $9 million seed funding round. 1kx, an early-stage investment firm, led the round, which also saw participation from Big Brain Holdings, Kronos Research, and the founders of LayerZero Labs.
With the money, the collection plans to scale its intellectual property offerings, which already include toys, books, and merchandise, as well as expand its team. Luca Netz, CEO of Pudgy Penguins, said in a statement that Pudgy Penguins is more than an NFT project: It is a “transcendent brand” that provides crypto natives and regular consumers with enjoyable products, experiences, and content.
“With the backing of our partners and community, we are excited to create the leading Web3 IP brand of tomorrow, and to introduce Web3 to the public in a simple, seamless way,” he added.
After a change in leadership that saw Netz take over, Pudgy Penguins has worked to expand its IP to mainstream audiences. Its Instagram account has over 500,000 followers and tens of millions of views, and the company has produced “stickers” that users share through social media channels.
In addition, it is launching a toy line in select stores that will take the Pudgy Penguins from digital to physical. After the announcement of the toy line in 2022, the floor price of the collection sky-rocketed and has remained amongst mid-level NFT projects ever since.
Vi Powils, Head of Investor Relations at Pudgy Penguins, said in a statement, “Today’s milestone is a testament to the vision of our strategic partners, who recognized that Pudgy Penguins is not only a Web3 brand for crypto-natives, but also an accessible IP for everyday consumers around the world, as well as our incredibly talented team.”
Pudgy Penguins Weathers Frigid Crypto Winter
After a period that saw the original founders of Pudgy Penguins ousted for failing to meet community goals and draining the project’s treasury, the Pudgy Penguins project has rebounded to greater heights. The team has made an emphasis on listening to the community, offering holders a chance to leverage their IP and giving utility to parts of the collection that the original team had abandoned.
Today’s announcement isn’t even the only big news out of The Huddle this month. On May 5th, Pudgy Penguins shared on Twitter that it had signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME), a Hollywood talent agency that represents some of the top names in the entertainment industry, including Bruno Mars, Travis Scott, and Adele.
And there’s a teaser as well: The company has an announcement planned for May 18th, saying it will go where no NFT collection has gone before. Rarity Sniper will keep an eye out for any news from the Pudgies and report back, as always.
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