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Sandbox VR announced today it has raised $37 million in a new round of fundraising and that it intends to use that investment to expand globally.

This round of fundraising was led by A16z, with participation from Alibaba and Craft.  More specifically, the round was led through A16z’s growth fund specifically for companies at a turning point in growth. The company has raised $119 million in total, and it currently employs around 200 people.

Andrew Chen, a general partner at A16z and board member of Sandbox, said in a statement, “With this new capital, Sandbox VR can continue building amazing experiences, growing their footprint, and moving the entire VR industry forward.”

Sandbox VR offers multiple VR entertainment locations, which combines VR headsets with full-body motion capture to offer users an experience they’re not likely to experience elsewhere. Due to its uniquely social aspect, the company was hit hard by the pandemic, though it has since bounced back.

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It recently launched three new locations in Austin, TX, Las Vegas, NV and Shanghai, China. Ten further locations are in the planning stages, and this round of fundraising is intended to fund at least four of those locations. The planned new locations include Minneapolis, London, Dallas, Emeryville, Kirkland, San Ramon, and Cincinnati.

Steve Zhao, Sandbox’s CEO and founder, said in a statement, “We are excited to use the latest round of funding for content development, cutting edge technology and accelerated growth. With more stores on the way, we’ll be ramping up our internal studios as well as developing our SDK to open up publishing in the near future. As we continue to innovate in the VR industry, we’ll move towards the virtualization of our physical spaces. One day, it’ll be like stepping into a portal where players can embody their persistent virtual avatars.”

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