Pokémon GO creator Niantic is raising $245 million in funding, valuing the mobile augmented reality company at a whopping $4 billion.
Venture capital firm IVP is leading the Series C financing round, with additional strategic investment expected from aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV, and Samsung Ventures.
Niantic plans to invest the capital in advanced AR capabilities, machine learning, the Niantic Real World Platform, and continuing to broaden its game offerings.
This financing follows the ongoing popularity of Pokémon GO, the continued success of Niantic’s original AR game, Ingress, progress surrounding the Niantic Real World Platform, as well as high anticipation of the 2019 release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with WB Games.
Niantic raised $35 million in Series A funding in 2015. Following the launch of Pokémon GO, the company raised a further $200 million in Series B funding from additional investors.
“IVP is excited to support Niantic in building the future of AR—initially as it delivers the magic of AR through highly popular games, but ultimately by delivering an operating system for applications that unite the digital world with the physical world,” said IVP’s Sandy Miller. “It’s a rare opportunity to partner up with a company that is already highly profitable at this stage, which is another reason we are so bullish on Niantic.”
With this new capital, Niantic will be accelerating staffing for initiatives such as the Niantic Real World Platform, which powers its current suite of games and was recently opened for the $1 million Niantic Beyond Reality Developer Contest. The platform will eventually be made widely available to developers around the world.
“We continue to be focused on delivering on our mission of bringing people together through experiences that marry advanced technology and the real world,” commented John Hanke, Niantic co-founder and chief executive officer. “This funding round adds financial and strategic support as we focus on doubling down on that mission with our platform and building upon the popularity we’ve established in recent years as we grow our portfolio and offerings.”
In a blog post published alongside the investment announcement, IVP’s Miller, Eric Liaw, Parsa Saljoughian and Jason Kong said they believe “that Pokémon GO has barely scratched the surface in terms of the immersive potential of augmented reality”.