Jan 17, 2019

Pokémon Go maker Niantic valued at $4 billion ahead of Harry Potter game

Pokemon Go maker Niantic raised $245 million in Series C funding. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Niantic, the mobile AR game-maker behind Pokémon Go, raised $245 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of nearly $4 billion.

Why it matters: Because this comes ahead of Niantic's anticipated release of a Harry Potter-themed game, further blurring the value line between tech and legacy brand content.

Details: IVP led, and was joined by aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV and Samsung Ventures.

  • Related: Jam City, a Los Angeles-based mobile game-maker with its own Harry Potter hit on the market, yesterday announced $145 million in new financing.

The bottom line: "Niantic will use its new capital to accelerate staffing for initiatives such as the Niantic Real World Platform, the engine that powers the company's current slate of titles that utilize AR into their gameplay. ... Niantic also promised that the platform will eventually be made widely available to developers around the world," reports Patrick Shanley in the Hollywood Reporter.

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The rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health