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Niantic Inc. creator of the popular mobile game Pokémon GO has secured an additional $245 million in Series-C funding from IVP, bringing their total valuation to near $4 billion.
Niantic Inc. started as Niantic Labs, an internal project at Google that eventually turned startup. Google had later restructured themselves as Alphabet Inc., and Niantic was spun out of the Alphabet in 2015 with $20 million in Series-A funding provided by The Pokémon Company, Alphabet, and Nintendo then another $10 million provided when milestones were reached. During 2016 they launched Pokémon GO to incredible commercial success and expanded their staffing accordingly.
In 2017 they announced they were working on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, expanding their portfolio and partnerships to now include Warner Brothers. During this same year, they announced that they raised an additional $200 million in Series-B funding, with an estimated value of over $2 billion. Throughout 2017 and 2018 they acquired Evertoon, Escher Reality, and Matrix Mill expanding their talent and IP in mobile development, augmented reality, and animation.
The announcement of a $245 million investment in their third venture round and a valuation just under $4 billion for Niantic shows that the investment community sees value in the technology and user base that Niantic has with their products. We reported two weeks ago that they were looking for extra funding and were met enthusiastically. It should also be noted that this round of funding was secured before the release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite which will have a large impact on the value of Niantic Inc. over the next few years. Time will tell if Niantic decides to have an IPO to realize some of the value they have created. They claim Pokémon GO had over $1 billion in revenue in 2016 alone, but there is no way of knowing how that was split between different parties.
Relevant information from IVP’s press release is below:
SAN FRANCISCO – January 16, 2019 – 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.