If there is such a thing as a superstar AR game developer, Niantic has to be it. The company took the world by AR storm with Pokemon GO, a phenomenon unlike anything we witnessed prior. The news broke out that the company has wrapped up Series C funding round, raising $245 million. The latest Niantic funding round is led by IVP and modified the company evaluation to a whopping $4 billion.
In what is only four years, Niantic has come from a small, independent, $35 million firm to a $4 billion giant considering IPO in the future. Most of it has to do with Pokemon Go success yielding more than $2 billion, but the CEO John Hanke the crew moved on rapidly. They continued developing the business plan and pick their projects for future success. Let us only remind you of Niantic’s recent funding of the DigiLens project.
As for what the funds will be used for, Niantic CEO John Hanke remains puzzling: ‘It’s extra capital in the bank, extra firepower for us to use if we want to do M&A or build our global events strategy’. What Hanke means is the following; part of the aggressive funding round was to put Niantic on a bigger map, get them acquainted with potential partners: ‘the main driver was getting formally aligned with some of these companies, getting some skin in the game’. We should expect to hear a lot more on Niantic’s business stardom in the future.
Quite possibly as a part of an IPO campaign. John Hanke certainly does not shy away from the question. ‘It’s something that’s out there as a possible future spot for us’, was his answer. Admitting that it is still too early to talk about going private, is it in his plans to ‘build a company that will be ready for that someday’. Niantic is however not focused on IPO for the time being, but rather on improving business plan and infrastructure. Apparently, the investors (Samsung, CRV, battery Ventures, Causeway, and aXiaomatic Gaming among them) are not too bent on flipping their funds. ‘The investors we’ve brought in have been recent, so they’re wiling to be patient with us’, Hanke said.
For Augmented Reality scene Niantic funding round means blooming of one of its widespread instigators. Revolutions don’t change much, somebody once said, they just speed up processes already at play. Indeed, Pokemon Go was this kind of revolution, one that popularized AR showing the world how engaging and futuristic it is. No wonder we got bags full of hope and hype for Niantic’s next game set in another beloved Universe. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is coming out later this year.
‘We continue to be focused on delivering on our mission of bringing people together through experiences that marry advanced technology and the real world’, Hanke again. The series C Niantic funding round helps the company stay on top and better plan and prepare for future projects. Fingers crossed for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to outdo its glorious AR predecessor.