The Sandbox raises $20M at $1B valuation, promises to expand creator economy

Animoca Brands and its subsidiary Bacasable Global, which operates the popular metaverse platform The Sandbox, have raised $20 million of convertible promissory notes at a valuation of $1 billion.

Investors can convert notes to equity

The funding round was led by Kingsway Capital and included LG Tech Ventures and True Global Ventures. The holders of the promissory notes can convert them into Bacasable Global’s equity at the same terms as existing preference shares.

The latest funding round at a billion-dollar valuation comes nearly two years after The Sandbox planned to raise $400 million at a $4 billion valuation.

In its official announcement, The Sandbox said that the latest funding round would be utilized toward expanding the creator economy and its decentralized mobile metaverse platform expected to launch in 2025.

Among the most notable uses, The Sandbox intends to add new social features and avatar skills, and upgrade its Game Maker and VoxEdit 3D editing tools.

The metaverse platform promised to enhance gameplay options with its new multiplayer rules system, which is anticipated to go live in beta later in 2024 before its general release in 2025.

Sandbox sees significant growth despite bearish sentiment

Since the Alpha version of The Sandbox went live in November 2023, over 1,000 user-generated experiences have been developed. The platform boasts 5.7 million user accounts linked to cryptocurrency wallets.

Related: Nokia targets ‘broader potential of metaverse’ in 2030 strategy

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu said that many popular games, such as Minecraft and Roblox, with millions of daily users, don’t offer their users digital property rights. He added that The Sandbox represents “the evolution of UGC games for the age of digital ownership.”

Investment management firm McKinsey & Company projects a metaverse economy to grow to $5 trillion by 2030. However, despite the early hype around the concept that saw Facebook do a full brand revamp, pivoting the metaverse has failed to gain user traction post-bull run. A Futurism report indicated that Meta’s $1.2 billion metaverse project had a mere 38 daily users in 2022.

While major metaverse projects struggle to gain traction following the bear market of 2022 to 2023, The Sandbox has reported the addition of over 330,000 unique creators who have downloaded The Sandbox’s no-code Game Maker in the past 12 months.

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