The Sandbox developer Animoca Brands raises $358m to expand the metaverse

Blockchain gaming developer will use the capital to continue to build out and expand the open metaverse

Blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands has seen its valuation soar to more than $5bn as investors continue to fund the development and growth of the burgeoning NFT and metaverse spaces.

Animoca Brands, which created popular metaverse game The Sandbox, said on Tuesday it had completed a capital raise of US$358.88m and posted a pre-money total valuation of US$5bn – a five-fold increase after achieving unicorn status last May.

The capital will now be used to continue funding acquisitions and investments within the NFT space, developing new and existing products, and obtaining licenses for popular intellectual properties.

The funding round was led by Liberty City Ventures, with an array of investors including Gemini Frontier Fund, Mirae Asset, Pacific Century Group, ParaFi Capital, Sequoia China, Soros Fund Management and Winklevoss Capital all contributing.

The large capital raise signals that investors are keen on entering the NFT and metaverse spaces, which have both seen incredible growth in the past year thanks to the popularity of projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and The Sandbox.

Animoca Brands, which was founded in 2014 by Yat Siu and David Kim, has since established itself as a leader in blockchain gaming by developing open-world platforms like The Sandbox and its native token SAND alongside the upcoming launch of the hotly-anticipated ‘AAA’ shooter Phantom Galaxies.

Throughout 2021, Animoca Brands raised an estimated US$216m to begin its development of the open metaverse whilst The Sandbox was also a beneficiary of a US$93 million raise in November 2021.

Following on from its successful year, the developer is now aiming to expand the open metaverse by bringing digital property rights to online users through blockchain and NFTs and help enable the “true digital ownership of users’ virtual assets and data” when playing online.

In addition to developing blockchain gaming, Animoca Brands is also an active investor in over 150 NFT and metaverse-related companies including OpenSea, Dapper Labs and Axie Infinity.

“We have set ourselves the ambitious goals of building an open Web3 and facilitating an open metaverse that expands financial inclusion,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands.

“We believe we are still at the initial stages of a new Internet revolution, and there are tremendous opportunities ahead of us in 2022 and beyond.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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