#Asia Brief: Razer gets big funding to roll out branded smartphones

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Razer co-founder Min-Liang Tan

Razer co-founder Min-Liang Tan (center). Photo credit: Razer.

The news:

  • Singapore-US startup Razer has announced a strategic partnership with Hong Kong network carrier Three to market “co-branded, gaming-centric handsets and phone plans” and open a brick-and-mortar store in the city.
  • Razer has also reportedly secured between US$50 million and US$100 million in funding from Horizon Ventures, according to TechCrunch. The VC firm is owned by Li Ka-shing, chairman of Three parent CK Hutchison. It isn’t clear if this investment is part of the Three deal or predates it.

Why it matters:

  • Known primarily for its gaming hardware and computing peripherals, Razer has recently been targeting expansion into other areas.
  • In January, the startup acquired smartphone manufacturer Nextbit. Back in October, it purchased THX, the audio tech company founded by Star Wars creators Lucasfilm.
  • Razer has disclosed US$125 million in investment to date, though it claims to have raised more than this. The Wall Street Journal reported in October 2014 that the company had attained a valuation of over US$1 billion following an investment from Intel’s venture arm.

Source: TechCrunch

 

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