Blog
December 1, 2021
Welcome Lowkey to Niantic

I’m excited to announce we're acquiring Lowkey, a social gaming platform that offers gamers a fun and easy way to capture and share their favorite gameplay moments. Their leadership in this space will accelerate the social experiences we’re building in our Niantic products. We share a common vision for building community around shared experiences, and enabling new ways to connect and play for our explorers.

We believe AR has the potential to impact humanity in transformative ways, and it is our intention to continue building social tools that contribute to this goal. Today, that takes the form of experiences like in-game chat in Ingress, gift exchanges in Pokémon GO, Postcard sharing in Pikmin Bloom, and meeting up at our many real-world live events. Our long-term vision is to create even deeper connections across Niantic games and continue bringing people together in the physical world.

We look forward to bringing the Lowkey team onboard to build the future of Niantic social experiences, and make a positive impact on people's lives.

- Ivan Zhou


November 29, 2021
Welcome Brian McClendon, SVP of Engineering, Mapping and AR

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Brian McClendon to Niantic. As Senior Vice President of Engineering, Brian will lead the development of our mapping and augmented reality technology as part of our efforts to build a 3D map of the world.

Brian brings extensive experience at the intersection of software and geospatial technology, and is currently a strategic advisor to Niantic. He was an investor, board member and early team member of Keyhole, where he served as Vice President of Engineering. Google later acquired Keyhole, and Brian became Vice President of the Geo team. He also served as Vice President of maps and business platform at Uber, and as an advisor to multiple companies focussed on mapping, artificial intelligence, and robotics, to help people and goods navigate safely through the world.

Brian will be based in Lawrence, Kansas, where he will build out a team and presence for Niantic. He’ll report to Yuji Higaki, our Head of Engineering.

I’m excited to welcome Brian on board and work with him again to build out our vision for the Real World Metaverse.

-John Hanke, Founder and CEO, Niantic

November 22, 2021
Niantic Receives $300 Million Investment From Coatue

Niantic Inc., developer of the world’s first and only planet-scale AR platform, announced today that Coatue has made a $300 million investment in the company at a valuation of $9 billion.

Niantic will use the funds to invest in current games and new apps, expand the Lightship developer platform, and build out its vision for the Real-World Metaverse.

“We’re building a future where the real world is overlaid with digital creations, entertainment and information, making it more magical, fun and informative,” said John Hanke, Niantic’s Founder and CEO. “This will take a significant investment of talent, technology and imagination, and we’re thrilled that Coatue is on this journey with us.”

“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,” said Matt Mazzeo, a General Partner at Coatue. “We are excited to partner with Niantic because we see this infrastructure supporting a metaverse for the real world and helping to power the next evolution of the internet.”

Earlier this month, Niantic launched the Lightship platform, enabling developers across the world to realize their visions for augmented reality and the Real-World Metaverse. The Lightship Platform is the foundation for Niantic’s own products, built on years of experience developing and running titles such as Ingress Prime and Pokémon GO. Our launch partners included Coachella, Historic Royal Palaces, Lifull, the PGA of America, Science Museum Group, Shueisha, SoftBank, the artist JR and Superblue, TRIPP, Universal Pictures, and Warner Music Group. Niantic also announced Niantic Ventures, a $20 million fund to help identify and fund the AR leaders of tomorrow.

Niantic’s mission is to inspire people to explore the world, together. Tens of millions of people play Niantic’s games each month, including Pokémon GO and Ingress. In 2021, our players have walked more than 17.5 billion kilometers (10.9 billion miles).

Last month, Niantic and Nintendo launched Pikmin Bloom, a smartphone app designed to bring a little joy to everyday journeys on foot. Pikmin Bloom spices up your daily walks with the help of an adorable yet mischievous squad of Pikmin.