Mobile Augmented Reality Company Niantic Raises $245 Million

By Dan Anderson ● January 16, 2019

Niantic, the mobile augmented reality company behind games like Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime, announced it has raised $245 million in Series C funding led by IVP. aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV, and Samsung Ventures also participated in this round. This round of funding brings Niantic’s post-round valuation to nearly $4 billion.

With this funding round, Niantic will maintain its lead in augmented reality experiences by investing in advanced AR capabilities, machine learning, broadening game offerings, and building on its Niantic Real World Platform. Niantic is also working on a highly anticipated game called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

“We continue to be focused on delivering on our mission of bringing people together through experiences that marry advanced technology and the real world,” said Niantic co-founder and CEO John Hanke. “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.”

aXiomatic co-founder and CEO Bruce Stein Niantic has proved to have a singular touch when it comes to developing communities in the virtual and real world. And he pointed out that the company also keeps players engaged and entertained.

Niantic was originally incubated within Google and spun out in 2015 with investments from Google, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company. This was followed by $200 million in funding from Spark Capital, Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin Venture Partners, You & Mr. Jones, and NetEase two years later.

As of September 2018, it was estimated that Pokémon Go generated over $2 billion worldwide itself. And the game hit an estimated 147 million monthly active users as of May 2018.

Hanke told Business Insider that the company is cash flow positive, but needed to raise funding to pursue an eventual IPO. And the company still has plenty of funding still left in the bank from its previous rounds.

“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,” added IVP general partner Sandy Miller in a statement. “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.”