Niantic, the developer of the world’s first and only planet-scale augmented reality platform like Pokémon GO, has bagged $300 million or R4.8 billion to build out its vision for the Real-World Metaverse.
Coatue has made a $300 million investment in the company at a valuation of $9 billion.
Niantic will also use the funds to invest in current games and new apps and expand the Lightship developer platform.
“We’re building a future where the real world is overlaid with digital creations, entertainment and information, making it more magical, fun and informative,” said John Hanke, Niantic’s Founder and CEO.
“This will take a significant investment of talent, technology and imagination, and we’re thrilled that Coatue is on this journey with us.”
“Niantic is building a platform for AR based on a 3D map of the world that we believe will play a critical role in the next transition in computing,” said Matt Mazzeo, a General Partner at Coatue.
“We are excited to partner with Niantic because we see this infrastructure supporting a metaverse for the real world and helping to power the next evolution of the internet.”
Earlier this month, Niantic launched the Lightship platform, enabling developers across the world to realize their visions for augmented reality and the Real-World Metaverse.
The Lightship Platform is the foundation for Niantic’s own products, built on years of experience developing and running titles such as Ingress Prime and Pokémon GO.
Its launch partners included Coachella, Historic Royal Palaces, Lifull, the PGA of America, Science Museum Group, Shueisha, SoftBank, the artist JR and Superblue, TRIPP, Universal Pictures, and Warner Music Group. Niantic also announced Niantic Ventures, a $20 million or R317 million fund to help identify and fund the AR leaders of tomorrow.
Niantic’s mission is to inspire people to explore the world together. Tens of millions of people play Niantic’s games each month, including Pokémon GO and Ingress.
Over the years, Niantic says its players have walked more than 17.5 billion kilometres (10.9 billion miles).
Last month, Niantic and Nintendo launched Pikmin Bloom, a smartphone app designed to bring a little joy to everyday journeys on foot. Pikmin Bloom spices up your daily walks with the help of an adorable yet mischievous squad of Pikmin.