Niantic raises $245 million in series C funding round to ‘help build the future’ of augmented reality

US software firm Niantic has announced that it is raising $245 million (£190m) in a series C financing round to help broaden its gaming offerings and ‘maintain its lead in augmented reality (AR) experiences’.

The funding round will be led by California-based Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), along with strategic investors like Samsung Ventures, aXiomatic Gaming, Causeway Media Partners, Battery Ventures, and CRV. Upon completion, the total value of Niantic will be close to £3.1 billion.

This latest funding round follows the success and popularity of Niantic’s original AR game Pokémon GO, its location-based AR mobile dame Ingress, and its progressing Niantic Real World Platform. Niantic also has high expectations from its latest 2019 release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite with WB Games. The company will use the accumulated capital to invest in advanced AR capabilities, machine learning, expand its game offerings, and the company’s proprietary Niantic Real World Platform.

John Hanke, Niantic co-founder and CEO, said: “We continue to be focused on delivering on our mission of bringing people together through experiences that marry advanced technology and the real world. This funding round adds financial and strategic support as we focus on doubling down on that mission with our platform, and building upon the popularity we’ve established in recent years as we grow our portfolio and offerings.”

A report from Juniper Research predicts that revenues generated from VR-specific games will increase from £0.93bn to £6.35bn by 2023. The report states that 52 million mobile VR devices across the world will access games in 2019, and this number will rise to over 100 million devices by 2023. More than 50% of mobile VR games accessed in 2019 will not be monetised due to difficulty of implementing advertising in VR content without hampering the user experience.

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