The dust hasn’t completely settled on Google’s Alphabet move and we’re told that the new umbrella company will be nimble. Today, one of the groups inside of the company announced that it will be spun out into a separate company…but will it stay under Alphabet? (coughNOcough.)
Here’s what the team had to say in a Google+ post:
Important Account Information: Niantic Labs is becoming an independent company. We’ll be taking our unique blend of exploration and fun to even bigger audiences with some amazing new partners joining Google as collaborators and backers. Niantic will be building on the success of +Ingress, which has been downloaded more than 12M times, has attracted more than 250,000 people to live events around the world, and has inspired users to collectively walk the distance from the earth to the sun while playing, exploring and discovering.
So, no. N is not for Niantic. They’re really going out on their own, with some Google support of course (as Niantic, Inc.).
A Google spokesperson passed this statement along to TechCrunch about the move, confirming Niantic’s independence:
Niantic Labs has created some incredibly innovative mobile experiences, like the popular augmented reality game Ingress, while being incubated within Google. They’re now ready to accelerate their growth by becoming an independent company, which will help them align more closely with investors and partners in the entertainment space. We’re excited to continue supporting them as they bring exploration and fun to even more people around the world.
The internal startup at Google, formed in 2010 by John Hanke, made the nerdy augmented reality game Ingress, as well as the app Field Trip. More than likely, these projects didn’t fit into anything else that was happening at Google, therefore it got the opportunity to give it a go as its own corporation.