Niantic, the augmented actuality platform behind Pokémon GO, has raised $300 million at a $9 billion valuation to construct the “real-world metaverse.” The contemporary funds, from investor Coatue, can even be used to develop present video games and new apps, and develop its Lightship developer platform.
Earlier this month, the corporate launched its Lightship AR Developer Package (ARDK) that gives instruments to builders to make AR video games without spending a dime. It’ll assist world builders to “understand their visions for augmented actuality and the Actual-World Metaverse”, Niantic wrote in a weblog. Moreover, it additionally launched a $20 million fund, titled ‘Niantic Ventures’, to assist “the AR leaders of tomorrow.”
What’s Niantic’s imaginative and prescient for the metaverse?
Niantic’s plans for the metaverse is way completely different from that of Meta’s imaginative and prescient of making a digital world the place individuals can immerse themselves utilizing VR tech. As an alternative, Niantic goals so as to add a digital layer to the actual world. Basically, the corporate desires individuals to discover the actual world collectively, very like its sport, Pokémon Go.
“We’re constructing a future the place the actual world is overlaid with digital creations, leisure and knowledge, making it extra magical, enjoyable and informative,” mentioned John Hanke, Niantic’s Founder and CEO.
For this, the corporate is constructing an AR platform primarily based on a 3D map of the world. This, in response to Coatue Common Accomplice, Matt Mazzeo, will play an important function in “the subsequent transition in computing.”
Pokémon Go is Niantic’s greatest success, incomes over $1 billion final yr. The corporate has additionally developed video games like Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Nevertheless, it just lately introduced its plans to close down the latter after a steep fall in world installs.