Sandbox VR attracts Hollywood investors

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Location-based entertainment operator Sandbox VR has received $11 million in funding from notable Silicon Valley investors and Hollywood stars, including Katy Perry and Will Smith.

Quick read

➨ David Sacks of Craft Ventures and the Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Leadership Fund led the $11 million funding round

➨ Additional investors included the Dreamers Fund, Honda Keisuke, Justin Timberlake and Orlando Bloom

➨ The company received $68 million in funding earlier this year

The story

San Francisco-based Sandbox VR, whose location-based entertainment experiences utilise full body motion capture and virtual reality (VR) tech, saw David Sacks of Craft Ventures and the Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Leadership Fund lead the $11 million funding round.

Additional investors included the Dreamers Fund, Honda Keisuke, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman of Thirty Five Ventures. Michael Ovitz, Orlando Bloom, and Will Smith.

Sandbox VR is in the process of an expansive rollout across the US, with a location recently opened in Los Angeles and others coming soon to New York, Austin, San Diego and Chicago. Its aim is to secure a total of 16 locations by the end of 2020.

The company received $68 million in funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz, earlier this year.

Steve Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Sandbox VR, said of the new funding participants: “We’re incredibly honored to be able to work with some of the most talented and influential artists, athletes, and actors in the world. Their support is a vote of confidence that our platform will one day become the new medium for the future of sports, music and storytelling.” 

David Sacks, co-founder and general partner at Craft Ventures, commented: “We believe that VR is finally ready to take off as a mass-market phenomenon in malls, where it can be optimised for a social experience.”

“We chose the Sandbox team because of their background in game design; their VR experiences have a level of interactivity—with both the VR world and other players—that we couldn’t find elsewhere. We believe that Sandbox VR is poised to become the first VR experience for millions of consumers around the world.”

Siqi Chen, president and chief product officer at Sandbox VR, added: “The excitement for Sandbox VR from entertainment and sports icons I grew up idolising reminds of what I felt when I first experienced what Steve and his team built in Hong Kong two years ago. We can’t wait to bring this new transformative medium to neighbourhoods around the world in the coming year.”

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Image credit: Sandbox VR