Metaverse Platform The Sandbox to Pour $50M Into New Accelerator Program

The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program will target 100 startups developing on the Open Metaverse, gifting them up to $250,000 each

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THE SANDBOX CO-FOUNDER SEBASTIEN BORGET. SOURCE: BLOCKWORKS

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key takeaways

  • The new accelerator program will support the launch of new startups looking to contribute to the growth and expansion of The Sandbox ecosystem, the companies said
  • The program will accelerate 30 to 40 startups per year over a three-year period with initial investments of up to $250,000 each

Animoca Brands’ metaverse subsidiary, The Sandbox, has committed $50 million to venture capital firm Brinc as part of a new program seeking to advance startups building atop the platform’s Open Metaverse.

Funding will go towards The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program and is expected to target 100 startups, according to a press release on Thursday.

Mentorship, education and support of the development for startups will form a major part of the accelerator. Access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands and Brinc will also be on the table.

The program will attempt to accelerate 30 to 40 startups per year over a three-year period with initial investments of up to $250,000 each. Best performing startups will also receive further grants of up to $150,000 in SAND tokens as well as LAND grants via The Sandbox, the companies said.

The metaverse, or virtual worlds leveraging a combination of tech including blockchain and augmented reality, is projected to earn trillions of dollars in the coming years. It’s also why Facebook’s parent Meta is expected to dump billions on the new medium as part of its push to redefine beyond its narrow social ad revenue model.

Performance of the startups within the program will be judged based on their traction, technical expertise and on their ability to “deliver unique experiences,” according to the release.

“The Sandbox’s Metaverse Accelerator is a major expansion of our ongoing commitment to support the next generation of metaverse entrepreneurs,” Sebastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox and chairman of the Blockchain Gamer Alliance, said.

“We’re especially eager to support underrepresented founders in their ambitions.”

As part of its push into the metaverse, Hong Kong parent Animoca Brands raised close to $360 million in a funding round, valuing the blockchain gaming firm at $5.4 billion. The Sandbox also recently nabbed prominent partnerships with musician Snoop Dogg, gaming company Atari and Skybound Entertainment, the company behind The Walking Dead comic series.

Applications for the program, which are now open, are expected to commence with the first cohort in Q2 of this year.


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