Developer Niantic, Inc. now has a valuation of almost $4 billion after its latest funding round. The company raised $245 million in its Series C financing. Venture capital firm IVP led the round along with participation from AXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Capital Management, CRV, and Samsung Ventures.
Niantic is the studio responsible for Pokémon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Ingress Prime. These games are free-to-play on mobile and they combine the digital and real worlds using both augmented-reality visuals and mechanics. The studio plans to use its influx of new cash to expand its AR technologies. Niantic will also put some of that quarter billion dollars toward machine learning, its Niantic Real World Platform, and new content. The studio also plans to bring on fresh talent.
“We continue to be focused on delivering on our mission of bringing people together through experiences that marry advanced technology and the real world” Niantic cofounder and chief executive officer John Hanke said. “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.”
Niantic as a development platform
One of the reasons that Niantic is worth so much money is because of the aforementioned Real World Platform. This is foundation that Niantic builds its games on top of. It is a software layer that understands how people get around in physical spaces.
Niantic plans to eventually make its Real World Platform open to all developers. And that’s something that IVP is very interested in.
“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,” IVP partner Sandy Miller said. “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.”
AXiomatic cofounder and chief executive Bruce Stein echoed that sentiment.
“Seeking out innovative new experiences and technologies centered around audience engagement has been a core investment focus for aXiomatic since day one,” Stein said in a statement. “Niantic has proved to have a singular touch when it comes to developing communities — both virtual and real-word, global and local — and keeping players engaged, interested and entertained. We’re looking forward to playing a part in powering that innovation for communities and years to come.”
This post by Jeff Grubb originally appeared on VentureBeat.