Gaming company Razer is developing a mobile device that will be ready by the end of the year
The company is looking for ‘a substantial float’ from a planned Hong Kong IPO
By Cheang Ming
Gaming company Razer has confirmed it is in the process of developing a mobile device focusing on gaming and entertainment.
“One of the most hotly rumoured things about Razer is that we’re coming up with a mobile device. And I can say that we are coming up with a mobile device specifically geared toward gamers and entertainment,” Min-Liang Tan, CEO and co-founder of Razer, told CNBC’s “Managing Asia.”
“We’re hoping to have it come ... by the end of the year, so that’s something we’re working on,” Tan said.
Best known for its gaming mice and laptops, speculation had been rife about the company’s mobile ambitions after it announced its acquisition of smartphone-maker Nextbit in January this year. Razer later shut down support for Nextbit’s cloud-based Robin phone in August, tech news outlet CNET reported.
Still, the mobile market looks set to remain a key focus at the company.
“The mobile market is one of those that we’ve taken a long-term view to look at ... We realised that a lot of our gamers are also passionate about the mobile gaming market, so we’ve done a couple of moves,” Tan said.
The CEO also addressed Razer’s plans to go public after news broke in July that the company was seeking a Hong Kong initial public offering by year-end.
“We would love to have that war chest to allow us to invest in R&D. We are known to have disrupted many industries: We’re the first in the gaming peripherals side of things, we were first when we invented the first true gaming laptop, we’ve gone on to provide one of the largest software platforms for gamers,” Tan said.
“Having that war chest from the IPO would allow us to do all that and much more. And that’s what we want to continue doing: to make cool products,” he added.
While Tan was tight-lipped on the exact figure Razer intended to raise from an IPO, he acknowledged that it would be “a substantial float.” Reuters reported in July that a valuation range between US$3 billion and US$5 billion was being weighed by the company.
As for why Hong Kong was chosen for the listing, Tan said the market was a “natural” choice given how Razer counted tycoon Li Ka-shing as a strategic investor. Horizon Ventures, a venture firm linked to Li, is a key investor in Razer.
While the U.S. currently makes up around half of Razer’s sales, the company has plans to do more in China , a market it already has exposure to through e-sports.
“There are very few people who actually know that we’re one of the few U.S.-based brands that have done incredibly well in China. You’ll see our products being listed number one on JD, or number one on T-mall, every time they have double-11 day ,” Tan said.
He added: “We would definitely want to grow our software base in China. Over and above, I think our services today, zGold — the virtual credit system that we’ve got — it’s primarily outside of China, and we’d love to find a local partner to work together.”