The Wall Street Journal recently reported Niantic Inc., the developer behind ‘Pokemon Go’, is currently raising a $200 million round of Series-C funding at a $3.9 billion valuation.
A History of Large Rounds of Funding
The round is reportedly being led by venture firm IVF with participation from Samsung Electronics and aXiomatic Gaming LLC. Last year, Niantic also raised $200 million in Series-B funding at a reported $2.7 billion valuation. That round was led by Spark Capital with participation from Javelin Venture Partners and the Founders Fund. After the most recent round closes, the company will have raised over $425 million after four rounds of funding.
The Technology that Sets Niantic Apart
Niantic gained prominence in 2016 when its Pokemon Go game exploded onto the mobile gaming scene. The game was the first widely-successful offering to utilize augmented reality (AR) technology; a technology which places the gaming world over a map of the real world. AR technology lays at the heart of Niantic’s business and is key to the company’s success.
The Supernova Success of Pokemon Go
Less than two years after launching, Pokemon Go has been downloaded a reported 800 million times and has generated over $2 billion in revenue. For comparison, only 4 movies in history have ever earned more than $2 billion at the box office. In response to the overwhelming popularity of the Pokemon Go game, the company is also developing a Harry Potter AR-styled game which promises to be another success and is planned to be released sometime in 2019.
Niantic Opens Platform to Third Party Developers
Along with the success of its own games, earlier this year Niantic also announced it will open its platform to third party developers. The move could potentially have implications in fields as wide-ranging as medicine and entertainment. In commenting on the decision to open the platform to outside developers, company CEO John Hanke remarked, ‘’Because we are so excited about the opportunity in advanced AR, we want other people to be able to make use of the Niantic Real World Platform to build innovative experiences that connect the physical and the digital in ways that we haven’t yet imagined.’