It all started with a map. It was five years ago today that a small team of bright-eyed individuals—it must have been 35 of us—ran with that idea to form Niantic and explore what could be possible when combining a map with augmented reality. Now, in 2020, we are more than 630 employees strong. We have expanded beyond our humble beginnings in San Francisco with offices all over the world. We support three live games for hundreds of millions of players and are bringing a packed product slate to market. Most importantly, we are paving the way for the next generation of AR experiences through our planet-scale AR platform. Today, it feels a little surreal to say that we are building the world’s largest repository of 3D images of real-world places hand-in-hand with our players, who have uploaded AR scans across 635k different locations.
So much has changed. We’ve grown up a lot. Yet when I look back on the last five years and everything we’ve done to get to this moment, it strikes me that the Niantic we know today, however different it might look, has kept much of its DNA. What remains at the heart of why we do what we do is our belief that technology—augmented reality, specifically—can make a profound positive impact on the world. We create moments and memories, augmenting the world around us in ways that encourage exploration, exercise, and social interaction. Our journey has been made up of small moments of joy—setting up our first office, our lasagna feast celebrating our first $1M in revenue—to bigger ones—10,000 Ingress Agents descending on Odaiba, servers struggling as millions began to play Pokémon GO, Justin Beiber sightings, crashing cellular networks in Chicago, celebratory raids snatched from the jaws of defeat, beautiful new offices, and more GO Fests culminating in our most widely attended GO Fest ever this summer, adapted on the fly to respond to a world turned upside down.
It’s exciting to imagine what kind of moments lie ahead of us. What will the next five years look like? It’s hard to say exactly where we’ll be, but I’m as confident and energized as ever in our path forward. It took all of us to get here, and our continued success won’t be possible without all of you.
We’ll keep running with a detailed, vibrant, playable 3D map of the world as our north star, getting closer to the point where the atoms (the real-world) and the bits (the digital-world) converge seamlessly to create new immersive AR experiences. We’ll continue to do so in a way that is open, transparent, and collaborative with our players. We’ll open up our Niantic Real-World Platform to inspire innovation from even more third-party developers, becoming the partner of choice to bring their ideas to market. We’ll continue our work towards developing the operating system standard for as many wearable products as possible, giving people the ability to experience the transformative power of AR that doesn’t bring the outside in, but gets you outside and on foot with others. It’s this human perspective that defines the kind of company we are today and the kind of company we are building for tomorrow.
So today, let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate Niantic’s five-year birthday. To celebrate with our community, I encourage you to post on social media today using #nianticbirthday and share photos and your favorite memories from Niantic, whether you’ve been with us for a while or joined us on this journey more recently.
Here’s to the next five years!