• The Sandbox, subsidiary of Hong-Kong based Animoca Brands, announced this morning that it has secured $93 million in a Series B led by Softbank Vision 2 Fund
  • NFT funding growth has been remarkable over the last 12 months, with a growth rate of 6,523% year-over-year and total funding of over $2 billion in 2021

The Sandbox (SAND), the leading open NFT metaverse platform, announced today that it has secured $93 million in a Series B fundraising round led by Softbank Vision 2 Fund, marking the fund’s first investment in crypto assets. 

The news comes shortly after Facebook announced its rebranding to ‘Meta’, sending gaming/metaverse tokens soaring over the last week. 

“Facebook is trying to claim the term metaverse. While it’s great to see the term going mainstream, the company has historically monetized peoples’ data and taken ownership away from the users. At The Sandbox, we are aiming to create an open metaverse where users get to own the platform they use,” Sebastian Borget, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Sandbox, told Blockworks. 

Additional investors in the round included Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, SCB 10X, Polygon Studios, Samsung Next and more.

SAND was last trading at $2.64, up roughly 225% over the last seven days. 

Nansen data shows that 80% of the supply has been held for one to two years and new wallet addresses holding the SAND token has recently gone parabolic:

The Sandbox
Source: Nansen

As one of the largest destinations for entertainment in the metaverse, The Sandbox has experienced massive growth in 2021. It plans to use the funds to scale the platform and keep up with demand from users as artists seek out new ways to strengthen their brands and engage with their fanbases. 

Snoop Dogg is one of the high-profile names to take part in The Sandbox metaverse after launching tickets to a private event which can be found on the popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, for more than $5,800 per ticket. 

The Sandbox now has over 500,000 registered wallets and 12,000 unique virtual LAND owners, and generated over US$144 million in lifetime gross merchandise volume, according to a company press release. 

Some of the well-known LAND owners in The Sandbox include the Winklevoss twins, Stephen Curry endorsed Bored Ape Yacht Club, Binance and many others. 

“The Sandbox aims to bring blockchain into mainstream gaming, attracting both crypto and non-crypto game enthusiasts by offering the advantages of true-ownership, digital scarcity, monetization capabilities, and interoperability” according to The Sandbox whitepaper

NFT funding booms

NFT funding growth has been remarkable over the last 12 months, with a growth rate of 6,523% year-over-year. Funding for NFT based projects is now over $2 billion for 2021, while 90% of the deals have been early-stage ventures according to a report from CB Insights. 

The report also showed that the third quarter of 2021 marked a record quarter in terms of both the number of deals and gross dollar amount invested as seen in the chart below:

More money for the metaverse

Separately in metaverse news, Sanctor Capital, a blockchain-focused investment firm, also raised $20 million for its inaugural fund which will in part focus on GameFi and cross-chain infrastructure projects.

According to a company press release, Sanctor launched a Y-Combinator style mentorship program that was custom-tailored to bring projects to market with the help of domain experts from industry-leading organizations such as The Sandbox. 

  • Blockworks
    Sam Martin is a Columbus-based reporter covering the convergence of traditional financial markets and digital assets. He previously worked in the agricultural industry on a hedge desk. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a double-major in International Business and Supply Chain Management as well as a minor in Japanese.