Niantic Labs, the augmented reality gaming company that released Pokemon Go and will soon make an impact on Harry Potter, raised $ 245 million in a C series fundraiser, giving the Google’s spin-off valuation worth nearly $ 4 billion, said Niantic. The tour was led by IVP, along with other financial participants, including Samsung Ventures, CRV, Causeway Media Partners, aXiomatic Gaming and Battery Ventures. Earlier this month, Niantic also sold $ 190 million of undisclosed equity.
The origins of Niantic date back to 2001 under the name of Keyhole, which Google acquired in 2004 and renamed its mapping technology to Google Earth. In 2010, Niantic Labs was created by Google, in the areas of mobile devices and mapping for gaming. The first game of the company was Field Trip, followed soon after by Ingress, which was a great success. In 2015, Niantic came out of the alphabet group and launched Pokemon Go in July 2016. The mobile augmented reality game based on Nintendo’s beloved franchise spent the rest of the summer as a cultural phenomenon, attracting millions of fans to the streets of the city for digital beasts superimposed on views of their real neighborhoods thanks to Niantic technology.
Niantic raking in immense revenue
In just a few months, Pokemon Go has made more than $ 1 billion in revenue, making it easily the most successful augmented reality to date. Although fan fervency eventually cooled and the game had a difficult time in 2017, it rebounded strongly in 2018. Niantic said the game has been downloaded more than 800 million times since it was released. The SensorTower analyst estimated the game revenue in November would have reached $ 80 million, 2.5 times more than the previous year, with annual revenues of 2018 amounting to $ 795 million worldwide. Thomas Gewecke, Digital Manager Warner Bros. Entertainment, who oversaw the development of the Niantic Harry Potter game for AT & T, said in November that Wizards Unite would have more elements than a Pokemon Go cover featuring fantastic animals from JK Books and the Rowling film franchise.
The company’s investors also have ambitions beyond games. Sandy Miller, of IVP, said in a statement that Niantic will end up providing an operating system for applications that unite the digital world and the physical world. This is a rare opportunity to partner with a company already very profitable at this point, namely another reason why we are so optimistic about Niantic. Niantic intends to make more available its augmented reality and mapping data for third-party developers who create other AR games and applications.
The company has announced that it will invest in machine learning and its Niantic Real World platform, and expand its gaming offer. Jam City, a more traditional mobile gaming company, announced it had accumulated $ 145 million in bank financing for consolidation and growth projects. Consolidation continues to be a significant factor in the high-risk and highly profitable gaming industry, whose cyclical and successful nature has proven difficult for many smaller developers to navigate consistently. Niantic has also acquired three smaller studios over the past year.
Plans for Launching Ingress Prime
Ingress Prime promises to be a complete reboot of Ingress, Niantic’s first full-featured game, and the platform where the developer plays with many of the concepts that ended up in Pokémon GO. Over the years, Ingress has always been popular with fans, but it never looked anything like Pokémon GO. Prime is the developer’s attempt to capitalize on the success of Pokémon GO and to incorporate some of what he has learned in recent years. Ingress Prime has been made available for free download on both iOS and Android. Prime is presented as a new game, but it will borrow a lot from what was before. It’s a science fiction story about a conflict between two rival factions, the Resistance and the Illuminate.