Coatue bought tickets to Metaverse and voted for “Google’s little brother” with 300 million US dollars

Large investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia and Coatue are paying close attention to Metaverse.

After waiting and watching for a while, the big PEs began to take action on the meta universe.

Recently, “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic stated on its blog that it has raised $300 million from hedge fund Coatue Capital at a valuation of $9 billion. Niantic’s last public financing was in 2019, when it completed a $245 million Series C financing with a valuation of $4 billion.

Regarding the financing, John Hank, the founder and CEO of Niantic, said: “We are building a real world that covers digital creation, entertainment and information, making it more magical, interesting and informative. This will require a large number of talents, technology and imagination investment, we are pleased to Coatue and we together embark on this journey. “

As the most well-known consumer Internet investment institution in Silicon Valley, Coatue has already had signs of launching Meta Universe. As early as two weeks ago, the US technology media broke the news that large investors such as Tiger Global, Sequoia, Coatue, etc. are paying close attention to this field, saying “These big funds are paying attention to’companies that have passed the early stage’ and will 3-4 leading companies invested large sums of money”.

It’s not surprising that Coatue chose Niantic as the first show of Metaverse. Pokémon GO still has nearly 150 million active users. Last year’s revenue reached US$1.23 billion. Most Metaverse companies are still polishing their products or talking about it. State of the concept, Niantic is one of the few companies that have truly broken the circle of products.


Niantic has a deep connection with Google .

In 2004, out of the need to develop the map business, Google acquired Keyhole, a map surveying and mapping company. As the founder of Keyhole, John Hank joined Google, and later founded Niantic Labs within Google, and launched the first game based on LBS (LBS, Location Based Services) and AR technology-“Ingress” .

In August 2015, Google’s parent company Alphabet announced that Niantic had separated from Google and became an independent game studio. A month later, Niantic and Nintendo jointly released the LBS+AR game “Pokémon GO”, which was launched globally in July of the following year.

With powerful IP and innovative gameplay, less than a month after it went online, “Pokémon GO” has taken the world by storm. In August 2016, the Guinness World Records awarded five honorary certifications to “Pokémon GO” in one breath, including “the mobile game with the most revenue since its launch in one month” and “the mobile game with the fastest revenue of $100 million (20 Days)”, “The number of downloads is the most after one month of online (approximately 130 million)”, “The number of downloads in the most countries after one month of online is ranked first (approximately more than 70 countries)”, “The amount of revenue after one month of online Ranked first in the most countries (approximately 55 countries)”.

According to Niantic, as of the end of 2020, the cumulative revenue of “Pokémon GO” reached 4.34 billion U.S. dollars, and the cumulative downloads exceeded 1.1 billion. The number of global active users in 2020 is about 166 million. It can be said to be the world’s most successful mobile game ever. , Only Tencent ’s “King of Glory ” can compare with it.

But after the success of “Pokémon GO”, Niantic was once in trouble. On the one hand, after 2018, the user growth of “Pokémon GO” has begun to fall into a bottleneck, and revenue growth has almost stagnated; on the other hand, the third AR+LBS mobile game “Harry Potter: The Wizarding League” that is highly expected is in After the launch in 2019, it was cold, and the service ended one year after the launch, which was shocking.

In this context, Niantic is in trouble in the capital market. In 2016, the valuation of the B round of financing was as high as 3.65 billion U.S. dollars, but since then no institution is willing to pay for Niantic’s high valuation, and even the IPO plan has become a distant future. In 2019, the C round was valued at only 4 billion U.S. dollars, almost the same as the B round.

Therefore, the valuation of the new round of financing has increased by 1.25 times, which is not a small breakthrough for Niantic. In addition to the sudden outbreak of the epidemic in 2020, the revenue of “Pokémon GO” has increased by nearly 30%. More importantly, the explosion of the meta universe has given Niantic more room for imagination.

Earlier this month, Niantic opened the Lightship platform to developers worldwide. Lightship is the cornerstone of Niantic products. It can build an AR world covering the real earth based on AR and LBS technology. According to Hanke, this platform has been supporting the operation of “Ingress” and “Pokemon GO” games for many years.

In addition, Niantic also announced two ambitious AR meta-universe plans: the first is to set up Niantic Ventures, which is a $20 million seed fund, mainly used to invest in AR start-ups; the second is to cooperate with Qualcomm to expand Niantic The AR+LBS technology possessed is applied to Qualcomm processors to provide technical support for the future development of AR hardware.

300 million US dollars to buy Yuan Universe tickets

For Coatue, Niantic’s investment also has a different meaning.

Coatu e’s investment in Niantic is undoubtedly the AR meta-universe platform built by the latter. Coatue partner Matt Mazzeo said: “Niantic is building an AR platform based on a 3D world map. We believe that this platform will play a key role in the next generation of computing platforms. We are very happy to work with Niantic because we see this infrastructure support The AR meta-universe will help promote the next development of the Internet.”

Strictly speaking, Niantic is not exactly the first time Coatue has been associated with the meta universe. Earlier this month, Coatue also invested in the Indian cricket NFT platform Faze with Tiger Global Fund and Sequoia India. The latter announced that it would build a cricket meta-universe for fans.

Let’s not talk about whether Cricket Metaverse is hitting hot spots. For large PEs such as Coatue and Tiger Global, the huge industrial chain and all-encompassing application scenarios behind Metaverse are the most valuable places.

China Investment Network previously introduced in the article  The King of PE Who Invested in Hey Tea and Manner, Is Doing the Same Thing with Hillhouse ” . Coatue Capital is known for being good at investing in the TMT field. In the private equity field, Coatue The core game of the game is to bet heavily on leading companies in the subdivisions, such as Uber, Snap, DoorDash in the United States, Didi, Meituan and so on in China.

In the golden age of consumer Internet, this style of play has brought high returns to Coatue. However, as the consumer Internet dividends in the two most familiar markets of China and the United States have gradually disappeared, Coatue has been forced to adjust its strategy recently, including raising funds. early investment fund reached early, and had to squeeze into the new track without touching the consumption, investment hi tea , Manner coffee and other food and beverage companies.

Whether it is broadening the investment track horizontally or extending the round boundary vertically, it is not an easy transformation for organizations such as Coatue and Tiger that are accustomed to fighting in small teams. At this time, the emergence of the concept of meta universe, let them see the possibility of recreating the glory of the consumer Internet era.

But just as Chen Rui, the CEO of Station B, just said recently, the current technology is still far from realizing the Metaverse of “Avalanche” or the Oasis of “Number One Player”. Even if the sales of Quest exceed 10 million, VR cannot be guaranteed. It is not impossible that PCs can be replaced in a few years, or mobile phones can be replaced by AR in a few years.

With lessons like Magic Leap, smart Wall Street wolves such as Coatue and Tiger, invest in a few big projects like Niantic that can’t be lost, and then wait and see the next development of the meta-universe. It may be that they lay out the yuan. The real pose of the universe.

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