The Sandbox, a Hong Kong-based open non-fungible token (NFT) metaverse platform, said Tuesday it has secured $93 million in its Series B fundraising round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

This represents SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s first investment in crypto assets, according to a statement.

Other investors in the round included Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, Kingsway Capital, Blue Pool Capital, LG Technology Ventures, Alpaca VC, Graticule Asset Management Asia, Com2uS, executives at GoldenTree Asset Management, Nokota, Sun Hung Kai & Co, Sound Ventures, Red Beard Ventures, SCB 10X, Polygon Studios, Samsung Next, Double Down Partners, StakeFish, SterlingVC, and HodlCo.

In a separate statement, Singapore-headquartered True Global Ventures 4 Plus (TGV 4 Plus) Fund said it has invested $10 million into The Sandbox, as part of the $93 million raised.

The Sandbox said the investment will enable the company team to scale the platform’s growth as a prime entertainment destination where brands, IPs, and celebrities can engage with their fans through virtual experiences including games, live performances, and social experiences.

“This investment round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 will help scale up our growth strategy, operations, and player acquisition in The Sandbox ecosystem while sending a clear statement that the world’s most innovative fund believes in Web3 and decentralization as the next major trend,” said Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Sandbox said.

“Adding new strategic partners such as Liberty City Ventures and Galaxy Interactive will also benefit The Sandbox’s global reach and expand the network of brands, IPs, and gaming studios interested in entering an open metaverse focused on a player-owned economy and user-generated content,” he added.

The Sandbox Chief Executive Officer Arthur Madrid also said the investment will help fuel the growth of The Sandbox creators’ economy as the company expands beyond gaming into fashion, architecture, virtual concerts and shows, art galleries, museums, and more.

“We are developing an entire ecosystem that opens new digital job opportunities for players and creators in our open NFT metaverse,” he added.

According to the statement, The Sandbox experienced tremendous growth in 2021. It has generated over $144 million in gross merchandise value to date and over 500,000 users now have a connected wallet.

Over 165 brands–including Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, and CryptoKitties–have already formed IP partnerships to create voxelized versions of their worlds and characters in the metaverse.

Meanwhile, high profile LAND owners in The Sandbox include Zed Run, Republic Realm, Binance, Bored Ape Yacht Club, CyberKongz, CoinMarketCap, Metakovan, Pranksy, GrowYourBase, MetaKey, South China Morning Post, Zepeto, Socios, the Winklevoss twins, Bill Lee of Craft Ventures, and more.

“We believe The Sandbox is constructing an open metaverse, unlocking new economic opportunities by empowering people to build and monetize their creations, from avatars and buildings to games and collectibles,” said Aaron Wong, Investor at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

“Leveraging blockchain technology and decentralized governance, the company is putting the power and control in the hands of its users, resulting in a thriving global community. We’re excited to partner with Arthur, Sebastien, and the team as they continue to transform what it means to have true digital ownership,” he added.

The Sandbox is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands. It is one of the decentralized virtual worlds that have been fueling the recent growth of virtual real-estate demand, having partnered with major IPs and brands including Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, deadmau5, Atari, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Care Bears, The Smurfs, Shaun the Sheep, and Binance. Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, The Sandbox is a metaverse that offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations.

Animoca Brands develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Formula 1, Marvel, WWE, Power Rangers, MotoGP, and Doraemon. The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, and Lympo. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 100 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Bitski, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others.

Animoca Brands raises $65M at $2.2B valuation from Ubisoft, Sequoia China, Dragonfly Capital, others