A company has raised US$93mln to develop a gaming platform where users build a ‘metaverse’ to build, own and monetize their virtual gaming experiences using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Sandbox, a Hong-Kong based gaming platform majority owned by blockchain game developer Animoca Brands, has completed a funding round from a variety of investors led by SoftBank, the giant Japanese venture capitalist.
Since being launched in 2012, The Sandbox has generated over US$144mln in gross merchandise volume to date and over 500,000 users now have a connected wallet to the platform.
Metaverses and NFTs have been the talk of the town over recent weeks, following Facebook’s decision to rebrand as ‘Meta’ to focus on its own metaverse, and high-end NFTs selling for over US$1mln becoming a regular occurrence.
The Sandbox has attracted brands such as Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead and The Smurfs, which have formed intellectual property partnerships to create virtual sub-worlds and characters in the metaverse.
Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget said the investment will “help scale up our growth strategy, operations, and player acquisition in The Sandbox ecosystem”.
SoftBank’s investment is the Japanese company’s first venture into crypto assets, while among the many other investors in the funding round were True Global Ventures, Liberty City Ventures and Galaxy Interactive.
The company has not commented on its valuation but the cryptocurrency it backs, named ‘The Sandbox’, has a market cap of nearly US$2bln.