Pudgy Penguins minted in July 2021, but quickly saw high drama after its former founder came under suspicion he was going to rug the project.
A few months later Luca Schnetzler stepped in. With an entrepreneurial streak since his early teens he had a history of building internet businesses and bought the project and its intellectual property of 8,888 cute little Pudgys for $2.5 million in April 2022.
“It was an instinct and intuitive decision. I saw this thing that I was hugely invested in before I bought it that I thought had all of the potential. I was complaining and crying on a daily basis to the founders about how they sucked, and how they could do better. Rather than just doing that, I just stepped up to the plate,” Schnetlzer says.
The narrative of quickly shifted from a rug that could trend to zero to one of hope and optimism when Schnetzler set out a vision for the project the community could rally behind.
Schnetzler became one of the standout PFP project leaders during the NFT bear market, and the Penguins bucked the trend of cratering floor prices. Since he took over as CEO, the Pudgy Penguins floor has risen from around the 1 ETH mark to 6.32 ETH. Holders and the wider NFT community believe that Schnetzler has a game plan for success and the ability to execute it.
He says the decision to snap the project up wasn’t as risky as it may have seemed.
“We bought something that netted almost $10 million in six months for $2.5 million. Royalties were making it half a million dollars per month. It was a pretty good business on its face. Intuitively, I think it just comes down to the vision when you close your eyes and you picture Pudgy Penguins, it’s pretty easy to see where this thing can go.”
Constant momentum and growth has been key to Pudgy’s ascent into one of the top PFP projects, with the cute penguin brand spreading across social media outside of traditional crypto channels like X and Discord. Pudgy’s Instagram has just crossed 1 million followers, while its GIF strategy has been highly effective, only days ago crossing the 10 billion views chasm.