Founding Story: Sandbox VR (plus: Future of VR Storytelling)

Siqi Chen, Steve Zhao, and Andrew Chen

Join us as we kick off a new series of YouTube videos called “Founding Stories” with the story of Skybox VR.

watch time: 39:20

Founder & CEO Steve Zhao and President & Chief Product Officer Siqi Chen describe their journey so far in building the company. a16z general partner Andrew Chen led our Series A investment in Sandbox VR and talks with Steve and Siqi about:

  • The origin story of Sandbox VR and how they were inspired by the “full stack” model of Hollywood studios
  • How founder Steve invested his entire life savings in the company when they couldn’t raise money from investors against the advice of his friends & family, including Siqi (who would later join the company)
  • How they raised their seed and Series A rounds of financing, including which restaurant meetings (yum!) led to a term sheet from Andreessen Horowitz
  • The future of immersive, social experiences enabled by this new medium of virtual reality. Just as moviemakers learned new ways of telling stories, VR designers are learning new ways to immerse people more deeply into new, fun, engaging social experiences

These videos are the peanut butter to The a16z Pitch Room’s chocolate. In the Founding Stories series, we talk about how the founders got the idea, the high-level trends (“why now?”, “what’s next?”), and the personal struggles in building a company from nothing. In “The a16z Pitch Room” series, we pick up from those set of experience and dive deep into the fundraising experience by going into the pitch room and dissecting the pitch deck slide by slide.

To learn more:

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