Pokemon Go Creator Lands $245 Million

SAN FRANCISCO — Niantic, Inc., a developer of mobile augmented reality (AR) games and creator of Pokémon GO, Ingress Prime, and the forthcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is raising $245 million in Series C financing led by IVP, with additional strategic investment from aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV, and Samsung Ventures.

The financing brings the company’s post-round valuation to nearly $4 billion. Niantic will use the money to invest in advanced AR capabilities, machine learning, the Niantic Real World Platform, and to broaden its game offerings.

“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.”

This financing follows the ongoing popularity of Pokémon GO, the continued success of Niantic’s original AR game, Ingress, tremendous progress surrounding the Niantic Real World Platform, as well as high anticipation of the 2019 release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with WB Games.

Originally incubated within Google, Niantic, Inc. spun out in 2015 with investments from Google, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo, and raised an additional $200 million in financing in 2017 from Spark Capital, Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin Venture Partners, You & Mr. Jones and NetEase, Inc.

“Seeking out innovative new experiences and technologies centered around audience engagement has been a core investment focus for aXiomatic since day one,” explained aXiomatic co-founder and CEO Bruce Stein. “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.”

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,” said John Hanke, Niantic co-founder and CEO. “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.”