Gaming product specialist Razer has announced the launch of a venture capital arm, zVentures, with a $30 million cash pot earmarked for gaming and technology startups.
It's no secret that Razer, once a gaming peripherals specialist, has been looking to diversify in recent years. From gaming tablets
to the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) programme
and even a music portal
, the company has been sending tentacles out far and wide. None, however, have reached so far as its latest announcement: a $30 million (around £22.5 million) venture capital fund for early-stage investment in startups.
'Razer has a long history of supporting partners, third-party product and business development,
' claimed Razer co-founder and chief executive Min-Liang Tan of his company's latest project. 'The cumulative benefit of those initiatives over the past decade has been very positive and significant. zVentures promises to take the sensibilities of our ventures work forward with far greater reach and impact.
Some of the areas earmarked for investment make perfect sense for the company: $5 million each has been ring-fenced for investment into virtual-reality projects and Android games. Others, though, indicate a desire to diversify still further from the company's core gaming competency: zVentures will, Razer has confirmed, invest in Internet of Things (IoT), big data, analytics, robotics, manufacturing and engineering startups, as well as those working with gaming software, augmented reality, and eSports applications. Companies chosen for investment, Razer has claimed, will be allowed to continue to operate independently, will have no restrictions on the industry partners with which they can collaborate, can build non-gaming products, and are free to seek additional investment from third parties.
'At the end of the day, we are attracted to emerging companies with opportunities for massive growth and improvement that can leverage on our experience and expertise,
' claimed Tan of his company's latest venture. 'Our contributions could include supply chain management, sales and marketing, capital or any number of considerations. Ideally, target companies will very naturally tap into the extensive networks and resources available throughout the wider Razer ecosystem.
Tan himself is said to be leading the hunt for companies in which to invest. More information, including a link to pitch your own company for investment, is available from the official website