HSBC Enters Metaverse with ‘The Sandbox’

    • HSBC is acquiring a plot of land in "The Sandbox."
    • The investment bank will use the acquisition to connect with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts.

HSBC, an investment bank and financial services company, is acquiring a plot of land in “The Sandbox” metaverse as a way to connect with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts. 

Created by metaverse-focused gaming and investment firm Animoca Brands, “The Sandbox” is a blockchain-based mobile game that allows users to create their own nonlinear gameplay. 

Animoca Brands has investments in more than 150 NFT, metaverse, and blockchain companies. 

  • It is the creator of the blockchain-based game “Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022.”
  • The company has also invested in Fan Controlled Football and NBA Top Shot

HSBC joins another banking giant in the metaverse. Last month, JPMorgan Chase & Co. opened a virtual lounge in Decentraland, a browser-based virtual 3D world platform.

London-based HSBC generated $12 billion in revenue in Q4 2021, a 2% increase year-over-year, thanks to its commercial banking business, which reported growth in credit and lending during the quarter.

The bank saw full-year revenue reach $49.6 billion, a 2% decline compared to FY2020, behind lower interest rates and a decline in revenue in its markets and securities services business. 

Others Taking Notice 

Private equity firm KKR & Co. is in talks to increase Animoca’s latest funding round from $359 million to $500 million at a $5.4 billion valuation. The round, announced in January, was led by Liberty City Capital Ventures and included investors George Soros and the Winklevoss twins.

To date, Hong Kong-based Animoca has raised roughly $700 million in total capital.