Razer, a gaming equipment maker that counts billionaire Li Ka-shing among its backers, was one of the firms that scored big in the Hong Kong tech IPO bonanza last year. Five months after going public in a US$528 million share offering, the Singapore and San Francisco based firm feels Hong Kong still has some way to go before it can match the US in being the ideal venue for startup exits.
According to the firm’s chief executive, there is a need in Hong Kong to make the local investment community more aware about tech firms and their operations.
“[Going public] was an exciting time for us, but [now] our focus is getting the Hong Kong investment public to be more educated on tech companies,” Min-Liang Tan told TechCrunch.
“The US [public markets] are probably more cognizant of tech companies,” he said in an interview.
Razer, which has received the blessing of tycoon Li, among other investors, is best known for making gaming accessories like gaming-specific keyboards, mice, headsets, and specialized laptops.
However, not many Hong Kong investors are aware of gaming and eSports. As a company focused on the emerging businesses, Razer had to commission its own surveys and research from third-parties ahead of its IPO last November to get market and competition data for its prospectus, TechCrunch noted.
Though the firm’s stock price has been losing steam since the listing, CEO Tan said things are going well for the business.
“We outperformed our expectations quite a bit in 2017 and there’s a lot of excitement around gaming and eSports,” he said in the TechCrunch interview.
The company has been expanding its product offerings with its first smartphone, the gaming-focused Razer Phone, which was launched last year after it acquired smartphone maker Nextbit.
The smartphone business “has done very well,” according to the CEO.
Tan said that with games like PUBG and Fortnite coming to mobile, “it’s probably the best timing ever for us to be first movers in this space.”
He also mentioned the company’s latest acquisition deal involving payment provider MOL.
“Now with virtual credits [from the MOL acquisition], we see a way to help games companies in various areas… we’re building an entire ecosystem for our games partners.”
Razer announced this week that it intends to gain full control of MOL, a company that offers online and offline payments in Southeast Asia, describing the US$61 million deal as one that would create “one of the world’s largest virtual credits platforms for gamers.”
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