Animoca Brands’ metaverse subsidiary, The Sandbox, has committed a $50 million (roughly Rs. 375 crore) fund, named The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program, to venture capital firm Brinc as part of a new program seeking to invest in and mentor startups building beyond the platform’s Open Metaverse. Mentorship, education, and support of the development for startups will form a major part of the accelerator, while access to potential partnerships and business development opportunities across the networks of The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, and Brinc will also be on the table.
According to a press release, The Sandbox Metaverse Accelerator Program is a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands. The new program aims to accelerate 30 to 40 startups a year over a three-year period with initial investments of up to $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.85 crore) each. Best performing startups will also receive further grants of up to $150,000 (roughly Rs. 1.10 crore) in SAND tokens as well as LAND grants via The Sandbox, the companies said.
The metaverse, or virtual worlds leveraging a combination of tech including blockchain and augmented reality, is projected to earn trillions of dollars in the coming years. It’s also why Facebook’s parent Meta is expected to dump billions on the new medium as part of its push to redefine its narrow social ad revenue model.
Performance of the startups within the program will be judged on their traction, technical expertise, and their ability to “deliver unique experiences,” according to the release.
“The Sandbox’s Metaverse Accelerator is a major expansion of our ongoing commitment to support the next generation of metaverse entrepreneurs,” Sebastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox and chairman of the Blockchain Gamer Alliance, said. “With imagination, ideas and hard work, startups from all over the world can realise their visions and drive societal impact by creating more opportunities for everyone. We’re especially eager to support underrepresented founders in their ambitions as they explore the infinite possibilities offered into The Sandbox ecosystem,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yat Siu, executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, commenting on the announcement said, “The open metaverse will not be owned by any single entity and thus presents an incredible opportunity to create a participatory and collaborative nonzero-sum environment based on openness, equitability, user governance, and digital property rights.”