Niantic, the company behind Pokémon GO, today announced it has raised a $300 million Series D investment which values the company at $9 billion. Beyond its geo-location games, the company has been building out a world-scale framework which it believes will be critical for a future full of rich augmented reality.

Niantic is best known for games like Pokémon GO and Pikman Bloom, and while these games focus mostly on geo-location gameplay, the company has long been steadily building up the tools and technology to deliver full AR experiences for the future. Earlier this month Niantic released its Lightship platform which gives developers a foundation for building shared, world-scale AR applications.

It’s on the back of that tech—and perhaps a little metaverse hype stirred up by Meta (formerly Facebook)—that Niantic has closed a $300 million Series D investment. The money comes from investment firm Coatue and values the company at $9 billion, according to Niantic. That bring’s Niantic’s total funding to $770 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

“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.”

In the investment announcement the company also claimed that it has “tens of millions” of monthly active users across its existing titles.

Beyond building an AR platform for developers, Niantic clearly has ambitions to build more of its own first-party content—and maybe even hardware. Earlier this summer the company showed off a prototype demonstration of Pokémon GO running on HoloLens 2 and teased a glimpse of a see-through headset which we’re still eager to hear about. It’s undeniably preparing for a future of all-day AR glasses.

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In order to accelerate that future, the company also recently announced Niantic Ventures, a $20 million fund to invest in burgeoning AR experiences build on its Lightship platform.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Ad

    Companies like this need to works together. They all seem to be investing so much money in the same, boring, things that don’t develop the experience that much.

    Also I’m still pretty concerned about these 3D maps of the world and how Niantic treated public space as their own in Pokemon Go. The actual geocaching was made by users of an earlier worldspace game, and it had issues both with turning it into their asset and with sending little kids into places they definitely should not have been going.

    It was so bizarre as someone who didn’t use the game to see thousands of people interacting with non existent things, crowding parks and squares and running around from place to place. I’m not looking forward to the MetaEarth.

    • Justin Mathis

      Don’t tell them they need to work together! Let them do their own thing, and don’t join them in some 3-legged-man-race because you don’t care what any of them wanted to do individually.

      • Ad

        I disagree, I think the best way to do it is to work together. Especially since they’re all making low quality hardware sdks.

  • Anonymous

    Ah the beloved Niantic who calls VR a dystopia and dis VR at every single opportunity they get?

    Absolute garbage and narcissistic as always. Wish them an epic fail and be gone from the tech industry. The world more stupid Pokemon Go players clogging up public places like parks where people expect to chill.

    • Justin Mathis

      That just means they care more for VR and don’t want it to go in the wrong direction or become idle.

  • ZarathustraDK

    If you’re trying to create THE Metaverse, then you’re not creating the metaverse, you’re just creating an, admittedly massive, but ultimately private and walled off social playground that you hope to control.

    This, like Meta’s vision, is not the metaverse. It’s more akin to Marvel x DC Comics’ crossover/multiverse/alternate timeline clusterfuck where everything gets sequestered into their own little narrative-bubble so particular authors can have complete creative control over their in-company circlejerk that they believe is gods gift to humanity, but which everybody else ignores to focus on their version of gods gift to humanity.

    The metaverse wont take off until these people learn to work together and agree on some open standards and a publicly accessible framework for the metaverse in lieau of the www-standard.

    • Justin Mathis

      That is not what that means!

      • Arturs Gerskovics

        lol hope they have a safe space to recover

      • ZarathustraDK

        Yeah well I’m continuously hurt by companies trying to monopolize my future and shit on the collective interest of normal people in their endless hunt for profit and investors to fellate. I’m sure there’s a self-proclaimed benevolent dictator at Niantic who has “got it all figured out” with his perfect vision for the future of the metaverse, only it doesn’t align with the interests of 99.9% of the population, it isn’t cross-platform, and it requires a subscription because investors hate when they go in dry.

        Niantic can go copulate themselves with IOI-wet dreams, as can Meta. Coitus their feelings.

        • Justin Mathis

          What? Well I definitely know that’s going to hurt someone’s feelings. They’re people, ok?

          • ZarathustraDK

            You seem to be under the impression that I would care about that. I don’t. Being universally viewed as empathetic is not a succes-criteria nor obligatory requirement in my life.

            As for Niantic, I’m sure they’re crying all the way to the Pokemon GO-bank because some nobody on the web said a mean thing about them.

          • Mrfox Babbit

            I cant tell if you’re serious.

    • Lynx

      So webxr? It has a high barrier of entry. I’m sure tooling and web hosting services could make it more accessible. If you want freedom then webxr is the way to go.

    • gustavonovak

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  • Justin Mathis

    That sounds great you guys!

  • Ragbone

    Lemon curry???

    • existenceprod

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  • Jonathan Winters III

    There will be no big visionary inclusive metaverse, as long as corporations try to do it. Corporations exist for profit, and trying to “own” the metaverse will prevent it from happening.

  • Sven Viking

    So one of the AR parks from Rainbow’s End?

  • Well, the ARCloud map it is building thanks to its many Pokemon Go users is a very valuable asset for Niantic…

  • Ragbone

    Will they add public urinals?

  • Cragheart

    Rofl. They can’t even do well a simple mobile game. Metaverse is beyond their reach.