Welcome to the herd, The Sandbox

Ryan Freedman
Alpaca VC
Published in
3 min readNov 2, 2021


Written by Andrew Peng and Ryan Freedman, November 2nd, 2021

Welcoming The Sandbox: the most exciting metaverse gaming platform on the blockchain and a play on Virtual Real Estate.

Technology building the metaverse aims to create a robust economy that allows the physical world and virtual worlds to interoperate with one another. By converging realities, the metaverse can transform long-standing industries and markets such as finance and banking, retail and education, health and fitness, and more. While metaverse-oriented technology is still nascent, the gaming industry is already familiar with shared virtual worlds for consumers to interact in — and benefits greatly from blockchain enablement for assets and transactions.

The Elevator Pitch

The popularity of virtual economies and metaverse gaming continues to expand — just look at the explosive growth of Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. But in the current game market, centralized ownership and control over trading and virtual goods restricts the value of in-game activity. At any time, you could have your assets frozen or account deleted.

On the other hand, blockchain metaverses overcome these limitations through a decentralized structure: all tradeable assets are tokenized as NFTs, and all transactions are recorded on the blockchain. NFTs allow for secure copyright ownership, interoperability, and monetization for users.

While there’s a lot we don’t know about the future of computing and the internet, it’s becoming clear that these virtual platforms will be key gateways for accessing the metaverse. Already, users and investors are building virtual land assets in much the same way as physical real estate: owners are “developing” income-generating components such as games and shops, or fractionalizing parcels to sell or rent for advertising space and other uses. A whole ecosystem of jobs building the metaverse is starting to emerge, from virtual architects and transaction brokers to asset creators and community moderators.

As we break down these components, we have identified a unique player that combines the gaming industry’s proven market prowess with the decentralized nature of blockchain technology: The Sandbox.

The “It” Factor

Our investment in The Sandbox came out of our field study around virtual real estate and NFTs (stay tuned — we’re publishing this soon). The Sandbox is a community-governed platform that allows users to own, develop, and monetize gaming experiences through a user-friendly development platform and integrate NFTs across IP. Traditional metaverse gaming platforms lack full monetization capabilities and true ownership for users, while most current blockchain platforms don’t have strong enough social/gaming concepts to keep players engaged. The Sandbox combines both an interactive gaming platform with an on-chain monetization network. Users can trade for SAND, the app’s native currency, to buy land through auctions, create NFT assets tradeable on a marketplace, and develop gameplay modules.

Even before building The Sandbox together, founders Arthur Madrid and Sebastien Borget were already successful social gaming and software entrepreneurs; we think this off-chain experience will be key to attracting users and building an engaging community. As Arthur and Sebastien drive the Sandbox forward, there is plenty of white space for product expansions to grow. They have built an accomplished team with both gaming and blockchain experience that can capitalize on market dynamics as NFTs grow exponentially in popularity. We know that there will likely be multiple winners in this space; we believe The Sandbox benefits from being one of the first, as it sits at the nexus of these trends and has already gained a significant market share of virtual land sales.

I’m excited to announce our investment in The Sandbox $93M Series B round alongside other great investors, including SoftBank Vision Fund, Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, LG Technology Ventures and others.

Welcome to the herd, Sandbox!

Extra Credits

· Interested in discovering The Sandbox? Start creating, trading, and exploring here

· Join The Sandbox community to receive the latest news and updates from the project

· Follow the Sandbox on Medium, Twitter, Discord, and YouTube