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Pudgy Penguins, an NFT project that saw a massive surge in 2021 before falling sharply the following year as a result of its founder’s controversies, announced on Wednesday that it has raised more than $9.5 million to support its ambitions.

As per the firm’s blog post, the funding round was led by investment company 1Kx. Other investors who participated include Kronos Research, Big Brain Holdings, CRIT Ventures, LayerZero Labs founders, and Old Fashion Research.

Pudgy Penguins was launched in June 2021 at a time when the NFT market generated monthly trading volumes worth billions of dollars. The project rose to fame after being featured on popular new website, The New York Times.

Pudgy Penguins Founder’s Controversies

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The buzz around Pudgy Penguins faded in February 2022 after blockchain observer ZachXBT uncovered dark revelations about the project’s founder, ColeThereum. ZachXBT alleged that ColeThereum had initially founded a scam drop shipping company, eBoy Outlet, in which he collected money from innocent customers who never received their orders.

On top of that, Psedonomnymous developer ColdPizza, who contributed to building Pudgy Penguins, claimed that ColeThereum bribed them not to disclose any information about his project.

These developments caused Pudgy Penguins’ prices to decline sharply. Three months later, serial entrepreneur Luca Netz acquired the project IP for over $2.4 million. Nonetheless, the new leadership did not revive interest as the Pudgy Penguins’ trading volume continued to drop.

But it is worth highlighting that the purchase deal happened when the crypto market had begun to crash following Terra’s collapse. At the time, many top NFT projects lost significant value. For example, the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection dropped from its all-time high of $429,000 to about $200,500.

Pudgy Penguins Progress

Under the leadership of Netz, Pudgy Penguins has made several huge steps, like launching physical toy projects, establishing an advisory board that includes leaders from Hasbro and Meta, and recently inking a deal with global entertainment agency WME to foster relationships with gaming and media companies.

These moves are clearly grabbing the attention of NFT traders. The current floor price of Pudgy Penguins is up 4% in the last 24 hours to $8,124. Since Netz took over, the NFT project has generated $180 million in trading volume.

Netz says he knows exactly what NFT holders want from his project and will do everything in his power to meet their expectations. He discloses that he owns a couple of Pudgy Penguins, which he bought before becoming the project’s head.

The millionaire entrepreneur adds that his team will use the $9.5 million to reach a broader audience. As of this writing, Pudgy Penguins has over 3 billion GIF views on and more than 50 million Instagram views.

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James Davis

By James Davis

James Davis is a prominent crypto writer and analyst at Herald Sheets, recognized for his well-researched articles and thorough analysis of the dynamic digital currency market. Holding a degree in Economics from Harvard University, James combines his academic background with a keen interest in cryptocurrency to provide readers with the latest industry insights and trends.