The Sandbox, a Minecraft-esque metaverse game owned by gaming firm Animoca Brands, has raised a whopping US$93 million (AUD $125m) in a Series B funding round this week.

The news is partly why the SAND token has been on a tear just lately – it’s currently up 236 per cent over the past seven days, and hit an all-time high yesterday of US$3.33.

That said, plenty of cryptos fitting the metaverse narrative have been posting solid gains since Facebook, Inc announced last week its changed its name to Meta and is shifting gears towards VR-led spaces.

Animoca Brands, which has numerous digital fingers in pixelated pies, is the majority owner of The Sandbox and has become a titan of the booming crypto-blockchain GameFi and metaverse sector. After raising another $US65 million just over a week ago, this now pushes the Hong Kong-based gaming company closer to a US$3 billion valuation.


Funding led by Japanese investment giant Softbank

The Sandbox, covered numerous times in Stockhead articles this year, is an Ethereum-based platform where players can “play, create, own, and govern a virtual world,” according to its website.

Its funding round was led by the huge, tech-focused, Tokyo-based multinational investment conglomerate Softbank, with other contributions coming from True Global Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, Kingsway Capital and Blue Pool Capital.

And the purpose of the round, apart from making rich investors potentially even richer, is to grow The Sandbox’s open NFT metaverse, according to an Animoca Brands press release.

Sebastien BORGET, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox said: “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 decentralisation as the next major trend.”

“We believe The Sandbox is constructing an open metaverse, unlocking new economic opportunities by empowering people to build and monetise their creations, from avatars and buildings to games and collectibles,” said Softbank Investment Advisors’ Aaron Wong.


Snoop Dogg in da virtual house

The Sandbox has seen major growth this year, with more than 500,000 registered wallets, 12,000 unique virtual LAND owners, and over US$144M gross merchandise value generated.

According to the press statement, more than 165 big-name identities and 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.

Here’s a taste of what Snoop Dogg’s (aka crypto Twitter identity Cozomo de’Medici) corner of The Sandbox world looks like…