Sandbox VR Launches U.S. Franchise Program

Premium location-based virtual reality brand seeks qualified multi-unit candidates to expand footprint across the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sandbox VR, the world’s premier destination for premium location-based virtual reality experiences, announced today the official launch of its U.S. franchise opportunities. Since its inception in 2016, Sandbox VR has emerged as the global leader in location-based VR, known for its unparalleled entertainment experience and commitment to bringing people together. With 46 locations globally, including 32 company-owned U.S. stores, this marks the first time Sandbox VR’s domestic franchise offerings are widely available to interested candidates in the U.S., an opportunity previously restricted to international markets only.

Sandbox VR is creating the future of entertainment by building the world’s most immersive experiences using bleeding-edge virtual reality technology. Their patented motion-tracking system, which captures the movements of a player’s entire body, combines with high-quality haptics to provide players with unprecedented realism and complete immersion that’s not possible with home VR or other location-based VR platforms. Guests’ own bodies act as their game controllers; all they have to do is step into the virtual world and engage in the action unfolding all around them. With more than 90,000 five-star reviews from guests worldwide, Sandbox is the fastest growing location-based VR startup globally.

In September 2023, Sandbox VR collaborated with Netflix to exclusively launch Squid Game Virtuals, an experience inspired by their #1 hit series. The success of Squid Game Virtuals has been record-breaking, selling more than $4.56M in ticket sales at physical venues within two months of launching. All Sandbox VR experiences are developed by an in-house AAA gaming studio led by game industry veterans and are specifically designed for groups to play as social experiences, further setting Sandbox VR apart. Teams of up to six friends explore virtual worlds together, while relying on each other to succeed.

“What started as a way to bring friends together to experience the futuristic wonders of virtual reality has developed into so much more,” said Steve Zhao, CEO of Sandbox VR. “We’ve spent the past several years refining and elevating the guest experience through an unwavering commitment to and investment in innovation – and it has paid off. Leveraging incredible brand momentum including a position on Fast Company’s prestigious 2024 Most Innovative Companies list, we’re excited and ready to share the proven business model of corporate-owned locations, and replicate the success we’ve experienced in new markets in partnership with franchise owners.”

Sandbox VR has leveraged the brand’s continued momentum to propel the launch of international franchise opportunities in places like London, Germany, Toronto, Vancouver, among others. The Sandbox VR concept provides franchise offerings that can cater to the unique criteria of each market and accelerate growth. New franchisees are provided a comprehensive and proven roadmap for success, along with support from the dynamic global Sandbox VR team with expertise in localization, marketing, training, and operations. Sandbox VR presence has grown at a notable clip, with 2023 net revenue for U.S. stores open for a full year averaging $1.9M, making for a short franchisee payback period that surpasses other business models. Sandbox VR U.S. stores have also reported industry-leading customer satisfaction with an average net promoter score (NPS) hovering between 67 and 74, and more than 300,000 weekly website visits.

“As a brand, we’ve been recognized as a leader in our industry because of the world-class team we’ve assembled to create an experience for our guests that is like no other,” said Lee Hebditch, director of global franchise operations at Sandbox VR. “For our franchise program, we took the same approach and assembled a best-in-class team with decades of experience in this industry to work and grow with our franchise locations. We’re excited to form lasting relationships with our franchisees and ultimately work alongside each other to bring Sandbox VR to more people than ever before.”

Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Gobi Partners, Craft, and Stanford University, along with individuals such as Kevin Durant, Justin Timberlake, and Katy Perry, Sandbox VR is seeking experienced operators to join its nationwide development efforts. Franchise opportunities are now available throughout the U.S. in all regions and key metro areas.

To learn more about Sandbox VR franchise opportunities, please visit and connect on LinkedIn.


Sandbox VR is the world’s premier destination for premium location-based virtual reality games. The company has created the world’s most immersive full-body VR platform and boasts games you can’t play anywhere else. Sandbox VR is now operating in over 46 locations across seven countries and expanding rapidly. Sandbox VR is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver. Sandbox VR’s latest round has raised over $37 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Gobi Partners, and Craft. Individual investors include Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, and Kevin Durant.



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