Pokémon Go Creator Niantic Raises $300M, Valued At $9B

  • General
  • November 23, 2021
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  • 4 minutes read

Pokemon Go logo

Niantic, an augmented reality (AR) company whose products include the famous Pokémon Go game, has raised a big new round of funding. It’s raised $300mn in funding at a valuation of $9bn. All the funding came from just one investor; Coatue, a New York-based hedge fund famous for investing in many blue-chip tech startups.

  • With its new funding, Niantic says it’ll invest in current games and new apps and expand its AR developer platform called Lightship. The company says it’s set on building the “real-world metaverse,” jumping on the bandwagon popularized by Facebook’s parent firm, Meta. 
The base for Niantic’s metaverse vision is the Lightship developer platform which it launched this month. It’s a platform for developers to build augmented reality apps and experiences, drawing from Niantic’s tools that helped create its hit Pokémon Go game. To draw creators to Lightship, Niantic has also set up a $20mn venture fund to invest in AR startups that’ll use the platform. 

$300mn in fresh funding will go a long way in building up Lightship, which Niantic has staked its future on after making hay in the world of AR mobile games. It’s an ambitious bet that could pay off hugely or well…lose hugely. 

Before launching Lightship, Niantic courted a dozen or so partners to create AR experiences with the platform. The partners include Warner Music Group. Universal Pictures, and Coachella.
  • With the latest funding, Niantic has now raised a total of $770mn from VCs. Its last funding round before this one was in 2019, when it raised $245mn at a $4bn valuation. 
  • Niantic was founded in 2010 and has since been led by its founder and CEO, John Hanke. Hanke is a former Google executive who built Niantic’s foundation with the tech giant’s resources and spun it off as a separate company.

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