Cryptocurrency News

The Sandbox Commits $50 Million to Invest in Metaverse Startups

By January 27, 2022 No Comments

Key takeaways:

  • Ethereum-based metaverse The Sandbox has partnered with Brinc to invest $50 million in up to 100 metaverse startups
  • A part of the financial backing will be distributed to eligible startups in the form of SAND and LAND
  • The popularity of metaverse-focused projects has skyrocketed in recent months, with companies like Microsoft and Disney joining the space

The rise of blockchain-powered metaverse projects has been one of the major storylines in crypto over the last couple of months. Few projects in the sector have enjoyed as much market success and rapid growth of its userbase as the Ethereum-based virtual multiplayer game The Sandbox. The team behind the highly successful game has now launched a $50 million accelerator program, designed to invest in and mentor metaverse startups.

The Sandbox partners with Brinc for a metaverse push

According to Wednesday’s press release, The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based gaming and venture capital company Animoca Brands, plans to invest $50 million in various gaming and non-gaming metaverse projects over the next three years. 

The Sandbox has partnered with global venture accelerator Brinc for the newly launched incubator program that is slated to start in the second quarter of 2022, after the initial set of applications gets reviewed. The gaming company will offer gaming expertise along with mentorship, education, and development support to up to 100 startups in the sector.

Some of the financial support will come in the form of digital assets, namely up to $150,000 per project in the platform’s native governance token SAND- Projects will also be eligible to revere LAND token grants, which are The Sandbox’s tokenized virtual plots of land.

“The core directive of The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is to support the launch of new startups that can contribute to the growth and expansion of The Sandbox ecosystem by building unique experiences and populating the platform with fresh creativity and new content.”

The Sandbox will not pursue investment exclusively in gaming-focused metaverse projects, but plans to invest across the full spectrum of metaverse categories, ranging from online commerce to social media-focused solutions. Additionally, the accelerator program will not seek to invest exclusively in startups that are tied to the Ethereum ecosystem.

The metaverse sector is booming

Ever since Facebook announced its rebrand to Meta last October and notably showcased its commitment to the novel concept, the interest in blockchain- and non-blockchain-powered metaverses skyrocketed. 

The Sandbox, GALA, and Axie Infinity are arguably the top three metaverse projects in crypto, combining play-to-earn (P2E) crypto mechanics with vast virtual worlds The trio has shown stellar results last year, with native tokens of all three finishing the year among the largest yearly gainers – for reference, GALA gained 388x, AXS 167x, and SAND 158x during the span of 2021.

The metaverse trend has taken hold in the traditional gaming sector as well. Last week, Microsoft announced a $68.7 billion acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard. Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella said that the move “will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

At the tail end of 2021, Disney was approved for a patent that would allow it to combine virtual reality elements with physical reality, which could mean that a theme park metaverse might be in the pipeline.