Sandbox VR Adds Strategic Investors Including Will Smith And Katy Perry

Hong Kong-based firm Sandbox VR added $11 million from an funding group together with well-known celebrities.

The strategic funding from a16z and Craft Ventures brings the whole raised by Sandbox from buyers to $83 million, in line with the corporate. This newest funding is led by David Sacks of Craft Ventures and the Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Management Fund. Extra buyers embody Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Will Smith, Kevin Durant with Thirty 5 Ventures and the Dreamers Fund.

Hollywood Connections

The addition of celebrities to the buyers backing Sandbox, with affect spanning common music, movie and sports activities, opens up the potential of collaborations for the VR-focused leisure firm. In a name with Sandbox CEO Steve Zhao, he mentioned he sees including these people to the corporate’s investor listing as probably serving to them with the event of future content material.

“It simply makes dialog a lot simpler in the event that they’re additionally an investor,” Zhao mentioned.

Star Trek and PvP

Sandbox does full physique monitoring with haptic vests and equipment and they’re making ready to open Star Trek Discovery: Away Mission and a brand new player-versus-player recreation known as the Unbound Preventing League. Zhao says they’ve eight places open now, each as franchises and Sandbox-operated spots, and they’re planning to open eight extra within the coming months. Sandbox gives blended actuality footage to visitors as a part of the usual package deal to commemorate the go to.

You may see UploadVR editor David Jagneaux within the video beneath kicking among the simulated creatures coming towards him.

Discovering Market Match

The marketplace for location-based VR leisure stays experimental with each well-funded startups and mother and pop arcades exploring the draw of changing actuality for somewhat bit. A mixture of fast-changing hardware, the price of software program improvement/licensing and the competing lure of low value however prime quality residence leisure means operators are confronted with a whole lot of choices on their path to paying lease and drawing in each new and repeat guests. The VOID, Zero Latency, Dreamscape Immersive, and Areas are just some of the businesses in the identical space as Sandbox, every with their very own method to testing the market and seeing what works.

Earlier this yr Sandbox introduced its first main funding — $68 million –backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Zhao recounted his efforts beginning in 2017 to discover a market match.

We’re hoping to check out Star Trek quickly in addition to the PvP recreation from Sandbox. We’ll report again with impressions as quickly as we’ve got them.