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SoftBank-Backed Sandbox Said to Seek Funds at $4 Billion Value

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(Bloomberg) -- The Sandbox, a platform that allows users to trade and monetize virtual assets in the Ethereum blockchain, is considering raising fresh funds at a valuation of more than $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The company is looking to raise about $400 million from both new and existing investors, the people said, who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential. Sandbox, which is majority-owned by blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands Corp., is in talks with potential investors for the funding round, the people said.

Considerations are ongoing and details such as the size and valuation for the new round could still change depending on market sentiment and investor demand, the people said. A representative for The Sandbox didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

A new fundraising deal would follow the $93 million The Sandbox raised in a series B round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in November. The transaction was the fund’s first investment into crypto assets and was earmarked to help speed up development of The Sandbox’s open metaverse.

The Sandbox rose to fame with its two namesake mobile games which garnered 40 million downloads in total. In 2018, it entered into blockchain by introducing user-generated content with a marketplace allowing users to upload, publish and sell their non-fungible tokens. The company has also expanded into virtual land sales, fashion and concerts with its own cryptocurrency SAND.

Companies that bought a virtual plot in The Sandbox in recent months include Adidas AG, retailer Carrefour SA and Warner Music Group Corp., which plans to organize live concerts within the platform. Snoop Dogg released his first music video filmed in the metaverse for his song “House I Built,” which featured his digital double dancing.

The Sandbox could carry out a new funding round this year as it looks to expand “aggressively” in terms of hiring and acquisitions, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder Sebastien Borget said at a press conference in Lisbon earlier this month. Borget didn’t provide details of the potential fundraising size nor acquisition targets.

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