At the beginning of the year Hong Kong-based Sandbox VR, a provider of location-based entertainment (LBE) using virtual reality (VR) technology, managed to raise a rather substantial $68 million USD from an investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Today, it has been revealed the company has managed to secure a further $11 million from Silicon Valley as well as several A-list celebrities.
While David Sacks and Andreessen Horowitz led the round this time they were joined by some very famous names including Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Kevin Durrant (NBA’s Brooklyn Nets), Michale Ovitz and Keisuke Honda (a football player).
“We’re incredibly honoured to be able to work with some of the most talented and influential artists, athletes, and actors in the world,” said Sandbox VR founder and CEO Steve Zhao in a statement. “Their support is a vote of confidence that our platform will one day become the new medium for the future of sports, music, and storytelling.”
Currently operating seven locations across the world (Hong Kong, San Francisco Bay Area, Jakarta, Macau, Singapore, Vancouver and Los Angeles), Sandbox VR has previously said it plans on bringing that total to 16, adding locations like New York, Chicago and San Diego. That extra cash will certainly help as setting up these specialised locations isn’t cheap. The company does use off-the-shelf VR technology inside open rooms for a free-roaming experience, very different to competitors like The VOID which provide a ‘4D’ experience with props, doors, wind and heat for added immersive effects.
Sandbox VR does create content in-house, however, so you can only play its titles at Sandbox locations. Having already created multiplayer experiences like Curse of Davey Jones, Amber Sky 2088 and Deadwood Mansion, Sandbox VR recently revealed Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission, a team-based experience created in partnership with CBS Interactive. A 30-minute experience featuring Mary Wiseman reprising her role of Sylvia Tilly, Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission is expected to arrive by the end of the year in select locations.
As Sandbox VR continues location expansion plans whilst adding further content to its roster, VRFocus will keep you updated.