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The Mayhem team. Photo: Niantic

Pokémon Go creator Niantic announced today the acquisition of Mayhem, a small San Francisco startup focused on online gaming communities, along the lines of the much larger Discord. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Between the lines: As it stands, the social options within Niantic games are fairly limited, and many players use Discord servers to discuss the game, plan meet-ups and share strategy.

The big picture: Niantic has a bold goal of digitally mapping in 3D the entire world and creating an augmented-reality platform that can be used for a wide range of games and other applications.

  • Mayhem is a small company with only a handful of employees, having raised $5.7 million. But it fits within Niantic's approach of using acquisitions to expand its technology and employee skill set.
  • It's the company's seventh acquisition in recent years, following last year's purchase of 3D mapping company 6D.ai.

What's next: Niantic plans to wind down Mayhem's standalone product and use the team and technology to work on social efforts specific to its own apps.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Health

This arthritis drug cost $198 in 2008. Now it's more than $10,000

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2008, a box of 30 anti-inflammatory rectal suppositories that treats arthritis, called Indocin, had a price tag of $198. As of Oct. 1, the price of that same box was 52 times higher, totaling $10,350.

Why it matters: As federal lawmakers continue to waver on drug price reforms, Indocin is another example of how nothing prevents drug companies from hiking prices at will and selling them within a broken supply chain.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.