Dapper Labs acquires Brud as part of plan to form new DAO-focused business unit

Vancouver’s Dapper Labs has acquired Los Angeles-based Brud for an undisclosed amount, in its first acquisition of a venture-backed company.

The acquisition, which was first reported by Decrypt, comes less than two weeks after Dapper Labs secured over $319 million CAD in fresh financing led by Coatue and announced a new partnership with Spanish soccer league La Liga.

Dapper Labs co-founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou declared the Brud deal Dapper’s “most important move yet.”

In a blog post announcing the Brud acquisition, Dapper Labs co-founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou declared the deal Dapper’s “most important move yet,” adding that the Brud team will be tasked with launching and scaling Dapper Collectives, a new business unit “with the mission of bringing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to the mainstream.”
 

“We’ve been following Trevor [McFedries (CEO)], Nicole de Ayora (CPO), and Kara Weber (COO)’s work on virtual influencers and the Metaverse since before CryptoKitties –– it’s an honor to work together today,” wrote Gharegozlou. “We’ve also been impressed with Trevor’s work more generally in the decentralized ecosystem, including co-founding the $FWB DAO on Ethereum.”

According to Decrypt, DAOs are “online communities empowered by ownership stakes—typically in the form of tokens—that can take nearly any focus, including funding investments, social interactions, or crypto project governance.”

Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is the startup behind Ethereum-based game CryptoKitties, the Flow blockchain, and NBA Top Shot, a non-fungible token (NFT) product that allows basketball fans to collect, trade, and own NBA moments, which has skyrocketed in popularity in recent months.

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Brud, which was founded in 2014, is best known for its creation of Lil Miquela, a virtual influencer with 10 million fans. To date, the Los Angeles startup has raised over $27 million in venture capital from investors like Sequoia and Spark Capital. As part of the transaction, Brud’s team is joining Dapper Labs, and Brud’s investors will receive equity in Dapper Labs, “as well as FLOW tokens in certain cases.”

“Joining Dapper Labs today allows us to accelerate and expand that mission on the fast-growing Flow blockchain, now home to even more of the world’s most compelling IP,” said McFedries. According to Decrypt, McFedries will lead Dapper Collectives.

RELATED: Dapper Labs raises $305 million to expand NBA Top Shot product to other leagues

Dapper’s new DAO-oriented business unit will focus on building and releasing open source tools “to help other mainstream communities engage in decentralized ownership and governance on [the] Flow blockchain.”

The Brud acquisition is the latest move in what has been a busy, funding-filled year for Dapper Labs, which raised $305 million in March to bring its NBA Top Shot product to other sports leagues, and also recently announced a new partnership with the NFL.

Feature image from Dapper Labs

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.