American manufacturer of gaming products Razer has just announced the launch of zVentures, a fund made with the sole purpose of investing in emerging technology. The company revealed that the fund's initial capital of $30 million will be spread across startups working on the Internet of things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and big data analytics technology. In addition to that, zVentures — headquartered in San Francisco and Singapore — will also invest in independent developers working on Android games as well as software for supply, marketing, and sales management. All in all, it seems like the fund was launched with the intent of investing into areas that Razer has already been involved with on its own.
Razer's co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan described zVentures as "a fund for startups, by a startup," clearly drawing on the parallel with Razer's "for gamers, by gamers" motto. Apart from investing financial resources into startups that are deemed worthy, Razer will also be sharing its technology and possibly even staff with these companies. The gaming firm is also willing to give its partners access to its retail and distribution networks. So all things considered, startups with ideas that pique zVentures' interest will definitely be equipped with everything necessary to turn their ideas into reality.
As for the short-term goals, the fund is currently on the lookout for quite literal startups that are still in early stages of existence which it will support with investments of up to $1 million. Latest reports suggest that zVentures already made some initial investments which are expected to be officially announced by the end of the year, while certain VR and gaming-related deals are already in the making. In other words, it's likely we'll be hearing about this fund a lot in the near future.
The launch of zVentures is yet another step in Razer's long-term diversification strategy which started some time ago and following the gaming accessories manufacturer dabbling into things like software, VR, games, and wearables. In fact, recent reports from May even suggest that the growing company is planning to enter the smartphone production business. In other words, what started as a gaming accessory company is now slowly but steadily turning into something much bigger.