Animoca Brands raises $20 million for The Sandbox, valuing subsidiary at $1 billion amid expanding metaverse initiatives

Animoca Brands and its subsidiary Bacasable Global, operators of The Sandbox metaverse platform, have successfully secured $20 million in a funding round, achieving a valuation of $1 billion.

This round saw contributions from prominent investors including Kingsway Capital, LG Tech Ventures, and True Global Ventures, with the funds raised through convertible promissory notes.

These notes offer investors the option to convert their investments into equity in Bacasable Global under the same terms as the existing preference shares.

This fundraising event marks a significant milestone for The Sandbox, especially considering its ambitious valuation targets nearly two years ago when it sought to raise $400 million at a valuation of $4 billion.

According to The Sandbox’s official announcement, the newly acquired funds are earmarked for enhancing the platform’s creator economy and the development of its decentralized mobile metaverse, which is slated for release in 2025.

The Sandbox plans to introduce a range of new features, including social functionalities, enhanced avatar skills, and improved versions of its existing Game Maker and VoxEdit 3D editing tools.

Additionally, the platform is set to enhance its multiplayer experience with a new rules system expected to enter beta testing later in 2024 and launch fully in 2025.

Since its Alpha version went live in November 2023, The Sandbox has seen significant user engagement, with over 1,000 user-generated experiences developed and a robust user base of 5.7 million accounts connected to cryptocurrency wallets.

Despite the general downturn in the metaverse sector following the 2022 bear market, The Sandbox has demonstrated considerable growth, adding over 330,000 unique creators who have utilized its no-code Game Maker in the past year.

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu emphasized the uniqueness of The Sandbox, contrasting it with other popular gaming platforms: “Many popular games, such as Minecraft and Roblox, with millions of daily users, don’t offer their users digital property rights,” he noted.

He then highlighted The Sandbox’s role in advancing user-generated content (UGC) games into an era of digital ownership.

Despite a slowing metaverse market, which saw companies like Facebook rebrand without achieving expected traction, investment firm McKinsey & Company remains optimistic about the metaverse’s potential, projecting its growth to reach $5 trillion by 2030.

Meanwhile, a report from Futurism pointed out that Meta’s $1.2 billion metaverse initiative managed only 38 daily users in 2022, showcasing the challenges faced in the sector.

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