VR Sandbox raised $ 11 million from elite Silicon Valley and Hollywood investors

Published 21 October 2019, 19:22

Sandbox VR has raised an additional $ 11 million in funding from Silicon Valley and famous Hollywood icons, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Katy Perry, and Justin Timberlake.

The Sandbox VR aims to create something similar to the Star Trek Holodeck, a room that can be any virtual environment and feels like it's real, according to founder Steve Zhao.

"We feel very honored to be working with some of the most talented and influential artists, athletes and actors in the world," Zhao said in a statement. "Their support is a vote of confidence that our platform will one day become a new medium for the future of sports, music and storytelling."

Sandbox VR creates a social multiplayer VR experience through a combination of capture of whole body motion and VR technology.

Led by David Sacks of Craft Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Leadership Fund, additional investors included Dreamers Fund, Honda Keisuke, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman from Thirty Five Ventures, Michael Ovitz, Orlando Bloom, and Will Smith.

"They don't just take normal VR settings and put them in the arcade," Chen said. "They combined a VR headset with a PC backpack and motion capture. And basically you use a motion tracker at four points on your body, plus your head, and you have a full virtual body. It tracks walls. And on top of that, they built a 30-minute three-A experience with six people. So you go to this place with your friends for this experience and you and your friends are in the game. "

In that experience, you can run, walk, jump, and hang out with people. You can play in social experiences that cost around $ 35 to $ 40 per person. That's a lot cheaper than investing $ 1,000 or more in VR and PC headsets, Chen said. A Star Trek: The Discovery Away Mission experience, created with CBS Interactive, will be coming soon.

"We believe that VR is finally ready to be launched as a mass market phenomenon in malls, where it can be optimized for social experiences," Sacks said. "We chose the Sandbox team because of their background in game design; their VR experience has a level of interactivity - with the VR world and other players - that we cannot find anywhere else. We believe that the VR Sandbox is ready to be the first VR experience for millions of consumers worldwide. "

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