Sandbox VR Notches Up $37 Million in New Funding for Global Expansion Drive
Location-based virtual reality experiences provider Sandbox VR has announced $37 million in new funding round to be used in financing its global expansion.
The latest fundraising round was led by A16z with the participation of Craft and Alibaba. A16z participated in the funding round via its growth fund that specifically targets companies that are at a turning point in their growth. Sandbox VR has now raised a total of $119 million and has about 200 staff.
According to the general partner at A16z and now board member at Sandbox Andrew Chen, the new funding will enable Sandbox VR to build amazing experiences, grow its footprint, and move the entire VR industry forward.
Sandbox VR already features several virtual reality entertainment locations that bring together the power of virtual reality headsets combined with full-body motion capture for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Sandbox offers a unique social aspect to its experiences and was hit hard at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic when many physical gathering places were shut down. However, the company has since bounced back as the COVID-19 restrictions ease up following mass vaccination programs instituted across the globe.
Recently, Sandbox VR launched three new location-based entertainment (LBE) locations in Las Vegas, NV, Austin, TX Nevada, and Shanghai, China. The LBE company is also planning to launch ten new locations that are currently in the planning stages. The latest round of fundraising will likely fund four of those new locations. The planned Sandbox VR locations include Dallas, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, San Ramon, London, Emeryville, and Kirkland.
Sandbox’s founder and CEO Steve Zhao stated that the company will use its latest fundraising round in cutting-edge technology, content development, and for accelerated growth. With additional Sandbox stores in the pipeline, Zhao says the company will use the funds to ramp up its internal stores and develop its SDK that will be opened up for publishing in the near future. According to Zhao, the company will also be moving to the virtualization of its physical spaces. The company might, in the future, create a portal in which players will be able to embody their persistent virtual avatars, according to the CEO.