VR startup Sandbox VR raised a $68 million Series A round of investment led by Andreessen Horowitz.
A blog post from CEO and co-founder Steve Zhao outlines how he gave the company six months of runway by taking “my entire nest-egg — all the money I had squirreled away from my time building Blue Tea Games over the last decade — and I invested its entirety into Sandbox VR.” GloStation (later becoming Sandbox VR) opened in June 2017 in Hong Kong and Zhao wrote that bookings were slow until a video on Facebook featuring the experience was shared thousands of times.
Then, the phone “wouldn’t stop ringing” and they were suddenly booked “3 months straight.” That helped them raise $3 million led by Alibaba. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen wrote in a post “after our initial meeting with the team, the entire investment partnership at Andreessen Horowitz went to try out the experience together, and after nearly an hour of shooting zombies, dodging lasers, and solving puzzles, we were blown away by the experience!”
The pitch is that Sandbox VR is developing a “triumvirate of distribution, technology, and content starting with a network of high-end retail locations that combines premium hardware, motion capture technology, and a low-latency software stack to deliver a social multiplayer experience.”
Last year games editor David Jagneaux tried the experience and found it “fun and adaptable in a way that I could see this sort of content easily scaling throughout malls, theme parks, and other locations with the foot traffic to support it.”
We confirmed the company is planning to launch in more than half a dozen locations including Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, and New York.