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Tue. 23 Nov 2021, 2:14pm ETBenzinga
In: News, Financing, Top Stories

The company behind the massively successful mobile game “Pokemon Go” has seen its valuation increase over the years. A recent funding round could help the company become a major player in the growing market that is the metaverse.

What Happened: Niantic raised $300 million in a recent funding round, which valued the company at $9 billion.

Coatue was among the new investors and is an investor in Dapper Labs and OpenSea, two companies in the NFT and blockchain space.

“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,” Coatue general partner Matt Mazzeo said.

Niantic is known as the company behind “Pokemon Go,” a game that earned over $1 billion in 2020 and is on pace to pass the total in 2021. The game has generated over $5 billion in revenue lifetime-to-date.

Investors in Niantic include Nintendo Co (OTC:NTDOY), NetEase Inc (NASDAQ:NTES) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Niantic has been building up its game library, which includes a Pikmin game in partnership with Nintendo and an augmented reality Transformers game with partner Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS).

Related Link: If You Invested $1,000 In Nintendo Stock When Pokemon Go Was Launched, Here's How Much You'd Have Now 

Why It’s Important: Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke has been vocal about expanding the company in the metaverse. The company wants to help other companies connect to the metaverse by offering tools to use.

Niantic unveiled its Lightship AR Developer Kit earlier this year to offer tools to create augmented reality games.

Also known as ARDK, the toolkit is being used by Coachella, Universal Pictures, Softbank, Warner Music Group and others.

Niantic’s tools make it easier to create augmented reality solutions for smartphones that don’t require additional technology, such as virtual reality headsets that Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has with its Oculus division.

The company highlights that companies can create “real-world metaverse” apps using the toolkit. Many of the tools are offered at no cost to the companies using them. Niantic charges a fee if APIs are used in an app with more than 50,000 monthly active users.

“At Niantic, we believe humans are the happiest when their virtual world leads them to a physical one,” Hanke said. “A real-world metaverse will use technology to improve our experience of the world as we’ve known it for thousands of years.”