SandStorm Platform aims to bring brands to the Metaverse
The number of brands seeking to gain a foothold in the metaverse has grown exponentially in recent months, with Nike and Disney running a recruiting campaign to hire metaverse specialists. According to JPMorganannual revenue opportunities through social commerce, live events and advertising could soon exceed $1 trillion.
SandStorm, the world’s largest weekly metaverse event, is committed to capitalizing on this trend by paving the way for brands to have a presence in virtual reality. The project has unveiled a new multi-chain platform to connect established and emerging brands with the top builders in the metaverse.
Here come the brands
After recently closing a $2.5 million seed round, sandstorm will debut the beta version of its live platform and NFT marketplace at next week’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.
Built on the Polygon and Ethereum blockchains, the platform empowers brands that have not yet made their presence known in the metaverse search through a directory of hundreds of verified Web3 builders. SandStorm also offers a white glove service to bring brands into the metaverse and build experiences for them in popular open world environments such as The sandpit†
“As a growing number of brands enter the metaverse through The Sandbox, we see an increasing need for a platform to connect them with builders, agencies, architects, designers, community managers and thousands of providers in this open ecosystem,” said the co-founder of the game and COO Sebastian Borget, who has invested in SandStorm’s recent seed round alongside a host of venture capital funds.
“SandStorm provides a decentralized solution to meet these needs and to make projects visible through meetups and social events in the metaverse.”
While several brands have already planted a flag in the metaverse, many remain disheartened by the steep learning curve that awaits them. SandStorm plans to help such companies overcome their concerns by bridging the education gap and exploring revenue-enhancing opportunities through NFTs and virtual experiences.
The Sandbox is one of the runaway success stories in the fast-growing metaverse space. Primary sales of in-game virtual plots generated $12 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, while secondary sales volume grew by 1.685% compared to the previous quarter. Several major brands have already purchased land in The sandpitincluding luxury fashion house Gucci, which is developing what it calls an interactive fashion experience “inspired by childhood memories of the quest for beauty.”
Reflecting on SandStorm’s vast community of creators, CEO Steve McGarry said, “We’ve already seen metaverse builders build everything on the platform, from skyscrapers and avatars to custom headphones. We’re hyper-focused on the one-to-one NFTs that take creators weeks to build. We are not interested in the 1,000+ collections.”
The arrival of the SandStorm platform comes at a time when consumer brands are reinventing marketing in the metaverse. Decentraland, a rival to The Sandbox, is currently gearing up for a virtual fashion week with designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Dundas and Etro. McDonald’s meanwhile has no less than… 10 trademark applications including one for a virtual restaurant that delivers to customers’ homes.
According to McGarry, SandStorm is already reaching more than 3 million monthly users and has attracted 50 brands and more than 500 builders prior to launch. The latter have been onboarding since the platform’s Builders program launched last October.
Brands can leverage the metaverse in many ways, including by releasing limited edition digital collectibles, advertising on billboards seen by gamers, and hosting virtual experiences and rewards programs. Many commentators believe that brands that ignore the metaverse risk being left behind, relying on the cautionary tale of Blockbuster Video — a company that once turned down the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million.