SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Niantic, Inc., the leader in mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences 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 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.
“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.
“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.”
About Niantic, Inc.
Niantic, Inc., builds mobile real-world experiences that foster fun, exploration, discovery and social interaction. 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. The company’s immersive Real World Games Platform powers the ground-breaking augmented reality games Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime, which are available on the App Store and Google Play. Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite is Niantic, Inc.’s third game and is being co-developed and co-published with WB Games. For more information on Niantic, visit www.nianticlabs.com.
With $7 billion of committed capital, IVP is one of the premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms in the United States. Founded in 1980, IVP has invested in over 400 companies with 108 IPOs. IVP is one of the top-performing firms in the industry and has a 37-year IRR of 43.1%. IVP specializes in venture growth investments, industry rollups, founder liquidity transactions, and select public market investments. IVP investments include such notable companies as AppDynamics (CSCO), Buddy Media (CRM), Casper, Coinbase, Compass, CrowdStrike, Datalogix (ORCL), Dropbox (DBX), Dropcam (GOOG), Fleetmatics (FLTX), GitHub (MSFT), Glossier, HomeAway (AWAY), The Honest Company, Kayak (PCLN), Klarna, LegalZoom, LifeLock (LOCK), Marketo (MKTO), Mindbody (MB), MuleSoft (MULE), Netflix (NFLX), Omniture (ADBE), Pure Storage (PSTG), Rubrik, Slack, Snap (SNAP), SoFi, Supercell (SoftBank), Tanium, TransferWise, Twitter (TWTR), Yext (YEXT), ZenDesk (ZEN), ZipRecruiter, and Zynga (ZNGA). For more information, visit www.ivp.com or follow IVP on Twitter: @ivp.
About aXiomatic Gaming
aXiomatic powers unforgettable esports experiences through sports and entertainment expertise. The company began operations in November 2015 with a mission to build a portfolio of dynamic company holdings in the esports and video gaming industry. aXiomatic leadership includes Co-Executive Chairmen Peter Guber, Ted Leonsis, Jeff Vinik and Bruce Karsh who together represent an unparalleled team of sports, technology, entertainment and investment industry titans. Through strategic partnerships, investments and acquisitions, the team connects esports groups with valuable resources including venues, technologies, media content, distribution partners and investment capital.
In September 2016, aXiomatic acquired controlling interest in one of the world’s premier esports brands Team Liquid, run by Co-CEOs Steven Arhancet and Victor Goossens giving aXiomatic an authentic perspective into the rapidly evolving esports audience and industry and strengthening the team’s resolve to create new and rich experiences for audiences and athletes alike.
About Samsung Venture Investment Corporation:
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation manages investment and investment-related activities for Samsung affiliate companies. The investment mandate for Samsung Venture Investment Corporation tracks closely to the strategic priorities of Samsung affiliate companies’ core operating divisions, and encompasses investments in semiconductors, displays, telecommunications, and consumer electronics.
About Battery Ventures
Battery Ventures strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, consumer Internet, mobile and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Israel and New York. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at www.battery.com and find a full list of Battery’s portfolio companies here.
CRV has been a leading investor in high-growth technology companies for nearly half a century, focusing on enterprise, consumer and bioengineering. The firm has backed over 400 startups in its nearly 50-year history, including some of the biggest tech exits in the last few years including Dropbox, PillPack, Ring, Twitter, and Zendesk. CRV has offices located in San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA, and Boston, MA. Please visit www.crv.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @CRV.
About Causeway Media Partners
Founded in 2013, Causeway Media Partners is a growth stage investment fund focused on sports media, sports technology, and related companies. Causeway is led by: Wyc Grousbeck, former general partner at Highland Capital Partners and lead owner of the Boston Celtics; Mark Wan, co-founder of Three Arch Partners and part owner in both the Boston Celtics and the San Francisco 49ers; and Bob Higgins, co-founder of Highland Capital Partners. The limited partners of Causeway include professional team owners from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and other leagues. In addition, Causeway’s limited partners include media executives, financial institutions, and general partners from a dozen private equity firms. Causeway has offices in Cambridge, MA and Palo Alto, CA.