Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Niantic (company)

Niantic (company)

Niantic is an augmented reality mobile gaming software developer.

Overview

Niantic, also known as Niantic Labs, is an American software development and gaming company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Though the company develops many types of games, it is best known for its augmented reality (AR) mobile gaming. Some of Niantic's well-known games include Pokémon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

History

Niantic was initially founded as Niantic Labs internally at Google in 2010 by John Hanke and Phil Keslin. The company remained a part of Google until becoming an independent entity in 2015 and formally changed its name to Niantic. The company's namesake "Niantic" is an homage to a whaling vessel that had gone through San Francisco in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush.

Private company

Niantic spun out from Google in 2015 after Google announced its restructuring under Alphabet, Inc. During the spin-out, Google committed to giving Niantic up to $30 million in Series A funding to support the growth of the company as an independent entity. Google stated it would initially invest $20 million and an additional $10 million for successfully reaching milestones.

Acquisitions and investments

Niantic has made various acquisitions to expand its user base and improve technologies. Additionally, in November of 2018, Niantic, alongside Mitsubishi Chemical's Diamond Edge Ventures, invested in DigiLens. DigiLens is a company developing holographic waveguide displays for AR applications.

Niantic Real World Platform

In November of 2018, Niantic announced its Real World Platform. The Real World Platform was built as a "planet-scale augmented reality platform" for current and future augmented reality hardware generations. This platform is viewed as a global operating system for applications that unite the digital world with the physical world.

Applications

Niantic has released various applications and games since its founding. Some of its most well-known games include Pokémon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Field Trip

The first application Niantic released after its founding was an app called Field Trip. The program was released in 2012 as a location-based mobile application used to "reveal hidden, cool, and unique things around you in the world." The application was available on mobile app stores until 2019, when Niantic announced they would be shutting it down.

Ingress

The first game Niantic launched with augmented reality features was Ingress, which was initially only available on Android phones by invitation only at its launch in November of 2012. The game remained invite-only for almost a year before becoming publicly available in October of 2013. It wasn't until July of 2014 that it was made available to iOS users.

In 2018, Niantic released a remastered and reimagined version of the game called Ingress Prime. The game was completely rewritten and applied lessons learned from Pokémon Go to improve the product during development. The older version of the Ingress game remains available to those interested in playing from the beginning, but it is now called Scanner [REDACTED].

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go was announced in September of 2015 in partnership with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. It was to be released for Andriod and iOS devices. The initial game launch took place in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States in July of 2016, with roll-outs worldwide for the remainder of 2016.

Pokémon Go garnered significant attention and quickly became the "most downloaded application in the first week" in iOS history, but was topped later that year by Super Mario Run. Within the first month of launch, Pokémon Go had been downloaded over 100 million times and had a daily recurring revenue of over $10 million. On the two-month anniversary of its launch, Niantic announced the game had been downloaded more than 500 million times and that players worldwide had walked a cumulative 4.6 billion kilometers.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

In November of 2017, Niantic announced it had been developing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in a partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WB Games San Francisco, under the Portkey Games name. The AR game was developed to allow players to explore neighborhoods and cities to discover lore, artifacts, learn to cast spells, and encounter legendary beasts. The game is themed after J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was beta-tested in New Zealand starting on April 16, 2019.Australia beta-testing began less than a month later, on May 1, 2019, before being made globally available on June 21, 2019, with releases in the US and UK happening the following day on June 22.

Pikmin Bloom

Pikmin Bloom is an augmented reality mobile game similar to Pokémon Go. It was released first in Australia and Singapore on October 27, 2021, and worldwide on November 2. Like Pokémon Go, gameplay involves using the app while walking outdoors. Under the "Start Flower Planting" mode, players plant in-game flowers by walking in real life. Flower planting is an essential part of the game. It enables Pikmin creatures to evolve faster, as well as earns the player in-game currency.

Timeline

November 22, 2021
Niantic raises a $300,000,000 private equity from Coatue Management.
January 2019
Niantic raises a $245,000,000 series C round from Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, Samsung Ventures and aXiomatic Gaming.
November 2017
Niantic raises a $200,000,000 series B round from Founders Fund, Javelin Venture Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, NetEase, Spark Capital and You & Mr Jones.
February 2016
Niantic raises a $5,000,000 series A round from Alsop Louie Partners, Cyan Banister, Lucas Nealan, Scott Banister and You & Mr Jones.
October 2015
Niantic raises a $35,000,000 series A round from Google, Nintendo and Pokémon.
2010
Niantic is founded.

Funding Rounds

Products

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Greg Kumparak
August 10, 2021
TechCrunch
Niantic continues to push forward in its quest to build a 3D map of the world. This morning the company announced that it has acquired Scaniverse, an iPhone/iPad app for scanning objects and environments in high-resolution 3D. A rep for Niantic tells me that Scaniverse will remain on the App Store, with plans to continue [...]
Amanda Silberling
August 2, 2021
TechCrunch
The creators of Pokémon GO, Niantic, developed one of the first mainstream augmented reality games, boasting 166 million users and over a billion dollars in revenue last year. Taking inspiration from the main series Pokémon games, Pokémon GO uses in-game incentives to encourage users to explore their surroundings, team up with other users to fight [...]
Amanda Silberling
August 2, 2021
TechCrunch
The creators of Pokémon GO, Niantic developed one of the first mainstream augmented reality games, boasting 166 million users and over a billion dollars in revenue last year. Taking inspiration from the main series Pokémon games, Pokémon GO uses in-game incentives to encourage users to explore their surroundings, team up with other users to fight [...]
Alex Alderson
July 9, 2021
Notebookcheck
Pokémon GO has been an enormous success for Niantic. New figures quantify just how much money the company has made and the year-on-year growth Pokémon GO has experienced since it launched five years ago.
Greg Kumparak
June 14, 2021
TechCrunch
Niantic has encouraged the world to roam the streets as Pokémon trainers and wizards... next up? Time to transform and roll out. 80's mega toy Transformers is the latest IP to partner with Niantic to build a map-heavy, geolocation-centric game. Details are still a bit light, but here's just about everything we know: It'll be [...]
SHOW MORE

References

Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.