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, will even be used to develop present video games and new apps, and broaden its Lightship developer platform.
Earlier this month, the corporate launched its Lightship AR Developer Equipment (ARDK) that provides instruments to builders to make AR video games free of charge. It’ll assist world builders to “understand their visions for augmented actuality and the Actual-World Metaverse”, Niantic wrote in a blog. 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 a substitute, Niantic goals so as to add a digital layer to the true world. Basically, the corporate desires individuals to discover the true world collectively, very like its recreation, Pokémon Go.
“We’re constructing a future the place the true world is overlaid with digital creations, leisure and knowledge, making it extra magical, enjoyable and informative,” stated John Hanke, Niantic’s Founder and CEO.
For this, the corporate is constructing an AR platform based mostly on a 3D map of the world. This, in line with Coatue Basic Companion, Matt Mazzeo, will play an important position in “the subsequent transition in computing.”
Pokémon Go is Niantic’s largest success, incomes over $1 billion final 12 months. The corporate has additionally developed video games like Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Nevertheless, it not too long ago introduced its plans to close down the latter after a steep fall in world installs.