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Softbank-backed metaverse platform The Sandbox to raise funds at $4B valuation

The Sandbox
Image credits: The Sandbox

The Sandbox, a San Francisco-based decentralised gaming platform, announced that it is looking to raise $400M from both new and existing investors at a valuation of more than $4B. 

According to Bloomberg, The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, is in talks with potential investors for the funding round. The size and valuation for the new round could still change depending on the market sentiment and investor demand, says the report. 

At a press conference in Lisbon, Sebastien Borget, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder said that The Sandbox could carry out a new funding round this year as it looks to expand aggressively in hiring and acquisitions. Currently, the company has 200 employees. 

The funding announcement comes five months after securing $93M in a Series B round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. 

Fueling virtual real-estate demand

Founded by Arthur Madrid, and Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox has been fueling the recent growth of virtual real-estate demand. 

The company has partnered with major IPs and brands, including The Walking Dead, Atari, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Care Bears, The Smurfs, Shaun the Sheep, and Binance. 

Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40M global installs on mobile, The Sandbox metaverse offers players and creators a decentralised and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and safely store, trade, and monetise their creations.

The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program

In January, the US company announced $50M to Brinc for The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program to focus on 100 startups to enhance the open metaverse.

With applications now open and the first cohort scheduled to start in Q2 2022, The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands. 

The new program aims to accelerate 30 to 40 startups per year, over three years. 

The program will invest in, mentor, educate, and support the development of promising startups and projects while also providing access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the growing networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The program focuses on startups that can enhance the open metaverse, who will be evaluated on their traction, technical expertise, and ability to deliver unique experiences. 

Startups accepted into the program will receive an initial investment of up to $250K each. 

The Sandbox will also provide further grants of up to $150K in SAND tokens to the best performers and LAND grants. 

Startups that demonstrate meaningful traction post-program can also apply for follow-on investment from The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc.

The Sandbox’s metaverse

The Sandbox metaverse aims to revolutionise how people interact in their day-to-day lives, including how users interact socially, shop, or consume entertainment. 

Recent partnerships with The Sandbox include Snoop Dogg, which owns virtual land in the metaverse and will give users VIP access to concerts, events, and dedicated digital items.

In fact, Snoop Dogg used the platform for his latest music video, “House I Built,” featuring his digital double dancing in the metaverse.

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