The big investment deals that brought so many VR companies into the limelight have cooled down somewhat over the past two years, although that hasn’t stopped the Hong Kong-born VR destination company Sandbox VR from landing a $68 million Series A funding round.
The financing round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley-based VC firm, and includes participation by Alibaba, Floodgate Ventures, Stanford University, Triplepoint Capital, and CRCM, Business Insider reports.
Unlike The Void, Sandbox VR hasn’t publicly announced any deals for branded VR experiences, instead making its own VR games including a futuristic shooter, a haunted house, and an underwater treasure hunting adventure. All of these support between two and six players at once, with the company charging around $40 per person for a 30-minute playsession.
The company’s approach is decidedly different from The Void, which features large-scale tracking volumes, interactive sets, and real-time effects. Instead, Sandbox VR is focusing on greater scalablity thanks to reduced complexity and physical footprint.
“We tried everything, what we really liked about [Sandbox] was that really though about archetyping this as modest-sized rooms that you could really put anywhere,” Andreessen Horowitz’s Andrew Chen tells TechCrunch. “So it’s this really scalable thing that you could imagine putting inside of a mall or a boutique retail location. You could scale a single location to having 10 or 20 rooms the way a movie theater might have 12 screens.”
Sandbox VR is currently operating seven locations across North America and Asia. More locations are planned for Los Angeles, Austin, New York, and Chicago. Sandbox VR founder Steve Zhao says the company has “inked multiple deals with Westfield malls across the country.”