In a video interview with CNBC, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, shared some ideas about the latest round of fundraising led by IVP. Hanke admitted that Pokémon GO had one of the largest mobile game launches in history and confirmed that it remains a solid product in the Niantic portfolio, with an increase in player participation in 2018 compared to 2017.
Niantic is raising $ 245 million in Series C financing led by IVP, with an additional strategic investment of aXiomatic games, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV, and Samsung Ventures.
aXiomatic games It has a large investment in electronic sports and live events, an area where Niantic is looking to grow and where additional experience is needed. Hanke confirmed the collaboration with Samsung Ventures in an undisclosed phone function, but also shared that the agreement has a lot to do with the upcoming 5G network technology and the optimization of the Niantic Real World Platform for 5G.
An interesting quote from Hanke from the official press release:
"We remain focused on fulfilling our mission of uniting people through experiences that combine advanced technology and the real world. "This round of financing adds financial and strategic support as we focus on duplicating that mission with our platform and the popularity we have established over the past few years as we grow our portfolio and our offerings."
Key points of the interview:
- Pokémon GO had one of the biggest video game releases of all time. The game continues to be a solid product, with a player participation that grows year after year when comparing 2018 with 2017
- The money will be used to attract some key strategic partners, aXiomatic and Samsung featured among the rest
- Niantic is working with Samsung on phones and optimizing its Real World platform for 5G
- The real world platform should be launched later this year.
- AR can only do so much by phone, Hanke remains a strong believer in future AR technology (AR glbades)
- Niantic has learned a lot from Pokémon GO, especially on how to earn money from an AR game. The formula of Niantic AR has been worked for years and has three key aspects:
- Go out and move
- Explore your city
- Socialize with other players.
- Social activity has proven to be the key factor in the viral spread of an AR product
You can see the full interview. here and read the official Press release here.