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Metaverse Not That Dead as The Sandbox Hits $1 Billion Valuation

Metaverse searches have fallen 50% over the last six months but The Sandbox has managed to raise $20 million with a valuation of $1 billion

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Metaverse interest is dwindling but the abstract digital universe seems to be attracting serious investment funds.

According to a press release from Animoca Brands, The Sandbox has raised $20 million of convertible promissory notes with a $1 billion valuation cap.

The strategic funding was led by Kingsway Capital and Animoca Brands with participation by LG Tech Ventures and True Global Ventures.

The Sandbox will use the funding to enhance its metaverse ambitions including updating its Game Maker and VoxEdit 3D editor tools and expanding multiplayer gameplay possibilities.

A decentralized metaverse for mobile devices is also expected to launch in 2025.

"We are deeply honoured by the continuing commitment to the vision of The Sandbox, and we're incredibly excited about the future of composable user-generated content games," said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands.

The funding comes at a time when metaverse interest seems to be dwindling. Google Trends data shows that metaverse searches are down more than 50% over the last six months.

However, the market seems to be drawing in more investment. Siu believes that the metaverse's value comes from the ownership of digital properties.

"McKinsey estimated that by 2030 the metaverse could add $5 trillion to the global economy; today, games like Minecraft and Roblox are some of the most popular titles in the world, but they do not provide their users with digital property rights," Siu said. "The Sandbox represents the evolution of UGC games for the age of digital ownership."

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Over the last year, over 330,000 unique creators have downloaded The Sandbox's no-code Game Maker. In total, over 60,000 avatar NFTs have been sold and used to play in the virtual world of The Sandbox.

Earlier this week, news broke of Galaxy Digital tokenizing an 18th-century violin to use as collateral for a multimillion-dollar loan.

Once owned by Russian empress, Catherine the Great, the 1708 Stradivarius was bought at auction by Siu and is valued at over $9 million.

"I was thinking about how we can create something special like this to have broader access,” Siu said of tokenization, adding that the loan was "A good way — although it wasn’t required — to get additional liquidity.”

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