The maker of popular app-based game Pokemon Go, augmented reality developer Niantic, has raised $245 million in a Series C funding round led by venture capital firm IVP. Others who have invested in this round are aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV, and Samsung Ventures.
This latest round will take the company’s valuation to nearly $4 billion.
In 2015, Niantic spun out of Alphabet as an independent, private company with $35 million in Series A funding from The Pokemon Company Group, Google and Nintendo.
Following the launch of Pokemon Go, the company raised $200 million in Series B funding, led by Spark Capital and included additional investors such as NetEase.
Niantic will utilize the capital to maintain its lead in AR experiences by investing in advanced AR capabilities, machine learning, the Niantic Real World Platform, and continuing to broaden its game offerings, the company said 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,” said IVP’s Sandy Miller said in the statement.
“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,” Miller added.
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.
“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.”
Originally incubated within Google, Niantic was 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.