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Miami Hack Week’s team SpotX, an AR gaming startup, acquired by San Fran company

on May 25, 2022 / by Nikki Cabus ,

Read Time 3 Minutes

Yesterday at the Lightship Summit in San Francisco, another South Florida startup made headlines as it was announced that the team from SpotX Games, a Miami-based augmented reality gaming startup is now part of the Niantic family.

Founded in January 2022, SpotX Games was aligned with Niantic’s mission to deliver fun, real-world gameplay adventures using augmented reality and encouraging community participation to makes Web3 and NFTs accessible to all.

some of the SpotX hack team

The small and mighty team of five – Galina Fendikevich, Traci Levine, Jackson Harris, Chris Daniels, and David Woodward – met at Miami Hack Week. Chris, a Miami Tech original and founder of The Shrimp Society, an organization that helps early stage founders, sponsored a “hack” house that brought together coders and creatives from a variety of backgrounds.

In a brainstorming session, a shared vision came together: to create a scavenger hunt across the different “hack” houses where players were tasked with finding hidden QR codes that held NFTs and collecting as many as they could. Shrimp Games, as it was dubbed, was the talk of Hack Week and motivated the team to stay together and start work on what is now SpotX Games. They ended up placing within the top 5 teams!

Traci Levine

“We wanted a fun way to connect with the Hack Week community because of the amount of houses in this event,” wrote Traci Levine in a public blog post. “Taking it a step further, we wanted to ensure social proof by making it non-transferable. If you say you were somewhere then there should be hard evidence to show it.” Traci is an original SpotX team member and now a Software Engineer at Niantic.

Having its footprint in Miami allowed SpotX to tap into the growing Web3 community, experimenting with new concepts and gathering feedback from eager participants. One of these concepts would become Spot@SXSW, an interactive city-wide scavenger hunt to take place during South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Players would track down ‘Spots’ where interactive AR events would be happening in five different categories – music, film, tech, food, and local – to collect coins and rack up points in hopes of winning one of several prizes and earning their own unique NFT featuring a colorful map of their journey across the city.

As SpotX was developing this new game for SXSW, they had a chance to meet Niantic’s John Hanke and Dan Morris. The team impressed with its creative use of blockchain technology and NFTs to engage people while making this emerging technology approachable through a simple web interface, perfect for those who were new to this space or wanted to get involved but didn’t know where to start.

Phil Keslin

The SpotX Games team officially joined Niantic in February and will be staying in Miami to be part of the Web 3 community here in South Florida. After  ibeing acquired, the team set its sights on building out Spox@SXSW with the support and backing of Niantic. The game was a hit with event organizers, who saw the potential to leverage SpotX’s approach at future events to deliver a more interactive experience.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have them as part of the Niantic family and to see what types of experiences we can build together to unlock the potential and power of Web3 for our community,” says Phil Keslin, Niantic’s CTO.

Learn more about SpotX Games at

Miami Hack Week’s team SpotX, an AR gaming startup, acquired by San Fran company