Smobler Studios Raises USD1.2M in Seed Round to Create a Metaverse for Good

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Smobler Studios commits to working with The Sandbox, one of the leading decentralized metaverses, to help onboard brands and services to pay it forward through its signature Metaverse for Good platform. An academy to train metaverse creators is also in the pipeline.

Leading metaverse architecture firm has announced that it has successfully raised USD$1.2 million at the close of its seed funding round. The creative outfit has garnered backing from The Sandbox decentralized gaming virtual world, Brinc, an accelerator and venture capital fund and Enjinstarter, a Web3 launchpad.

Founded by Dr Loretta Chen, a creative director, media veteran and professor and Ruel Sarmiento, a skilled artist, experienced gamer and trained architect. Smobler Studios, which stands for “small furniture” in Swedish was created over the pandemic when Sarmiento spent his free time experimenting with The Sandbox and soon stumbled upon the Game Maker Fund which was then in its infancy.

The Game Maker Fund is an initiative that supports creativity in The Sandbox’s metaverse by funding both individuals and small/medium size creators’ projects, providing assistance in publishing their game. Capitalizing on Chen’s and Sarmiento’s expertise as brand builders and master storytellers, the duo conceptualized a sprawling, colourful exposition space called Cobbleland that brings together brands, communities, non-profit organisations and gives young or budding entrepreneurs of minority groups a platform to launch their ideas and promote their businesses in a gamified environment.

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The studio has since onboarded The Food Bank Singapore, which feeds the food insecure in Singapore, as well as Aventis Graduate School, the first in Asia to offer a metaverse campus to provide a source of low cost education to the ASEAN region. Says co-founder Sarmiento, “There is an opportunity to democratize education for up to 100 million students who are keen on executive education but may not be able to afford it.”

“I’m always thinking about how to use our platforms to create more opportunities for diversity, equity inclusion,” adds Chen. “We are keen to push the boundaries of knowledge to explore the possibilities of virtual spaces and interactions. By harnessing Web3 technology, we support meaningful brands and non-profits and use the metaverse as a platform for social good.” Both local and international brands as well as NGOs have already jumped on the bandwagon.

Smobler Studios seed funding round was backed by The Sandbox open Metaverse.

“We’re shaping the metaverse to become a new digital nation without frontiers, with a culturally-rich digital space that is diverse and inclusive – where everyone can become a creator without requiring any specific set of skills,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox. “We’re proud to support the Smobler Studios team led by Dr Loretta as they fully share our vision and have dedicated themselves to make a strong impact toward onboarding millions of people into the creators’ economy with equal opportunities for jobs and success through education without barriers.”

Manav Gupta, Founder and CEO of Brinc says “Our mandate is to support game-changers determined to use new, creative methods to overcome challenges, and Smobler Studios does just that”. Gupta adds, “Their traction, technical expertise and ability to deliver unique experiences in the Web3 space, alongside their sustainable pay-it-forward directive that promotes inclusivity cemented their candidacy for our accelerator program. With our guidance, we are excited to support the next phase of their growth.”

Enjinstarter’s CEO and Co-Founder, Prakash Somosundram echoes these sentiments, “Enjinstarter is honored to participate in Smobler Studios’ growth as we are really impressed by the work that they have done to date. With their focus on impact and venture philanthropy, we believe working closely with them will allow us to change the way we do good.”

“The metaverse appealed to us as we saw it as an opportunity to bring communities closer together, especially in a post-pandemic world where there has been a shift in living habits and lifestyles toward greater digital interaction. We can either sit back to watch idly or lean in to actively participate to co-create the metaverse” says Chen.

The metaverse has been the talk of the town since Facebook changed its name to Meta in October 2021 and pledged to invest $10 billion in its Reality Labs operation in 2022. Bloomberg Intelligence envisions the metaverse opportunity reaching $400 billion by 2024.

The seed funding will enable the Smobler Studios team to scale up its operations, form joint ventures to create a voxel art and gamemaker academies to train a new sector of virtual architects and metaverse designers as well as expand its reach into AsiaLatin AmericaCanada where Sarmiento is based and the USA where Chen resides.

“We are deeply appreciative of all our investors who are supportive of us, especially in this bear market. We do not take their generosity for granted and will ensure we work hard to co-create a Metaverse for Good we can all be proud of,” says Chen.

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