Andreessen Horowitz leads $68m Series A for HK startup Sandbox VR

Photo: Sandbox website

Hong Kong-based virtual reality startup Sandbox VR has raised $68 million in a Series A funding round led by US-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Mike Maples, Floodgate Ventures, Stanford University, Triplepoint Capital, CRCM and Alibaba also participated in the round, according to a blog post by Sandbox VR founder and CEO Steve Zhao.

Sandbox VR combines virtual reality hardware, real-time motion capture and content experiences to provide a more immersive experience.

“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,” Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen wrote in a post.

Chen wrote that the Sandbox team is taking on the triumvirate of technology, distribution, and content at once to bring VR to its next phase.

Sandbox VR is also building its own content, starting with a series of first-person shooters — Deadwood Mansion, The Curse of Davy Jones, and Amber Sky 2088, featuring zombies, pirates, or sci-fi — with a dozen more to come.

The startup currently operates in six cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vancouver. It will spend the new cash infusion to accelerate the expansion of its VR centres in new locations including Austin, Macau, New York, Tokyo, Hangzhou and Indonesia.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.