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Razer launches $30 million fund zVentures to invest in early-stage IoT, big data, and VR/AR startups

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Quite rightly, the lifestyle brand for gamers, ‘Razer’ has announced the launch of zVentures, a $30 million worth fund to explore innovative new businesses and emerging technologies. The company especially plans to focus on startups and companies that will have a role to play in the expansion of its product platform.

The fund will include $5 million for VR-related investments including funding of content development (under the OSVR Developer Fund) and $5 million for Android game publishing and investments (under the OUYA Publishing banner).

Razer has a long history of supporting partners, third-party product and business development. 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.

said Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan.

zVentures will mainly focus on early-stage investments in a variety of arenas namely Internet of Things enterprises, software and analytics, including big data advanced manufacturing and engineering; gaming software technology; virtual and augmented reality; eSports and robotics. It also plans to look for startups that are working in areas that are important for Razer including the ones which are developing tech for supply chain management, sales and marketing, and more.

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The startups in the zVentures portfolio will have access to Razer’s 20 million active users. The company has already made several other deals in VR, e-commerce and gaming, but hasn’t revealed other details yet.

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. 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 said in a statement.

While Razer itself is infusing money in the fund, there are other backers in it comprised of some of the company’s own investors, the company told TechCrunch. The company has already built up a strong reputation for its PC-gaming peripherals, and it has spent the last year building on its brand of keyboards by also introducing laptops, headsets, and audio-video equipment. Razer is specifically planning to set aside $5 million for VR-related investments and $5 million for Android game publishing.

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Tan told TechCrunch that they have considered going public for a while. He told that there’s no reason for them to stay private. But they want to make sure all the corporate governance is addressed. Founded in 2005, Razer is backed by Intel Capital, IDG-Accel and Heliconia Capital Management (Heliconia), a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore investment company Temasek.

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