Wednesday, May 18

DEAL: Sandbox raises $93 million to expand its NFT metaverse

In a series B funding round, Sandbox, a blockchain-based virtual world that allows its users to create, build, buy and sell digital assets in the form of a game, was able to raise $93 million to help the platform expand its NFT metaverse.

The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which is SoftBank’s first investment into the crypto asset. Other companies like Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, SCB 10X, Polygon Studios, Samsung Next participated in the funding round.

The latest fundraising comes a year after its last funding round, where the firm raised $2 million to build its blockchain-based game world. The company also saw fast growth in monthly active users and crossed $144 million in transaction volume on the platform.

What you should know

According to the announcement, the platform aims to speed up the growth of its open metaverse with games, live performances and social experiences while supporting more creators and involving more brands and intellectual properties.

The platform is majorly owned by blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands. It allows players to build, own, and monetize their virtual gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain. It provides creators with ownership as NFTs and offers tools to create assets on the platform.

As an NFT-based open metaverse, The Sandbox is known for its partnerships with over 165 brands, which includes the likes of Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari and CryptoKitties.

Binance, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Socios, the Winklevoss twins and CoinMarketCap have all bought digital land in the metaverse of The Sandbox.

The company declined to disclose its valuation but its native token ‘SAND’ has a market cap of nearly $2.5 billion. The company said it currently owns about 22% of the tokens.

The Sandbox CEO and co-founder Arthur Madrid shared the team’s plans to expand into fashion, architecture, virtual concerts and shows, art galleries, and museums. He stated, “We are developing an entire ecosystem that opens new digital job opportunities for players and creators in our open NFT metaverse.”

Aaron Wong, an investor at SoftBank Investment Advisers, explained that The Sandbox is leveraging blockchain and decentralized governance to give power and control to its users. He stated, “We believe The Sandbox is constructing an open metaverse, unlocking new economic opportunities by empowering people to build and monetize their creations, from avatars and buildings to games and collectibles.”

The price of the coin has jumped over 200% after Facebook announced it would change its name to Meta Platforms Inc last week, which spiked investor interest in companies that build metaverse gaming experiences.

The SAND token now trades $2.75, up over 50% for the day, as of the time of this writing.