Skip to main content
October 5, 2021
Niantic Acquires Developer Experience Leader, Hoss
Acquisition helps accelerate and expand the development of the Lightship developer experience and portal

Niantic is excited to welcome the team from Hoss to accelerate and expand the Lightship developer experience (DX) and build a robust set of tools that make it easy to work with Lightship and facilitate a vibrant developer community. The Hoss team have seen the tremendous opportunity developers can play across industries and have refined their expertise in building out developer experience solutions for API-driven companies.

In less than two years, they have a proven understanding of the needs of developers by creating engaging, easy to use solutions including customized developer portals. As part of the DX team at Niantic, the new team members will help build out the Lightship platform portal ahead of the upcoming launch of the Lightship ARDK. Beyond the launch, the expanded DX team will be continuously iterating on the overall developer experience as more developers engage with the overall platform tools, support and the Niantic team.

Led by co-founders Matt Hawkins, Cameron Cooper and Trung Vu, Hoss has quickly built a reputation as a valuable partner to companies who need easy to use developer portals, from documentation and self-service modules and dashboards, to behind the scenes services like hosting and management.

“As we prepare to open the Lightship platform to developers around the world, it’s critically important that we get two things right — both the tools in the ARDK to help developers build new experiences, and the developer experience as we work together to build this exciting new world of AR experiences,” said Kei Kawai, chief product officer at Niantic.

The Hoss team founders were part of the Y Combinator winter class of 2020 (YC W20), and quickly grew their business just as the world was moving entire industries and economies to a virtual online only existence. Their success in creating compelling developer-first experiences that combine self-service and rich community engagement fits perfectly with the kind of platform support Niantic is building for the full Lightship platform, including the ARDK.

“The opportunity to join Niantic at this time is incredible,” said Matt Hawkins, co-founder and CEO of Hoss. “We repeatedly found that developers are not happy with the status quo when it comes to developer experiences, and the chance to build out the Lightship DX as we’re getting ready to open the platform to developers around the world is a once-in-a-career type of opportunity that we are so incredibly excited to be a part of.”

The Lightship ARDK is currently in private beta and the team is updating the AR tools ahead of the upcoming public launch. For more information about Lightship, including details about our upcoming launch event, please visit

– The Niantic Lightship team

Get the latest