Razer, the San Diego-based high-end gaming tech company, is on a roll. In the wake of the latest models of its thin Blade gaming laptops, a partnership with Tencent in China, and preparing for the sale of a new wearable, it has recently closed a round of funding with Intel on at least a $1 billion valuation.
The details come by way of a leaked internal memo to staff that was passed to TechCrunch by an anonymous source.
“We’re already one of the billion dollar unicorns in the tech start-up world and now, we’ve got more resources than ever to allow us to focus on designing and developing the best experiences for gamers worldwide,” the memo notes.
The company and Intel are not commenting on the memo’s contents to TechCrunch; sources have indirectly confirmed it as correct.
Intel has backed a number of gaming companies by way of Intel Capital and directly. Related investments include Swrve, Hungama, Gaikai (acquired by Sony) and more. It’s also been an active investor in wearables and adjacent technology.
This may be the first round raised by Razer in years. The last round reported by the company was a $50 million raise in 2011 from IDG and Accel, from their joint China fund.
In the years since then, Razer has grown in popularity on the back of its range of products from high-end gaming peripherals like mice and keyboards; full systems (like the Blade); and wearables like its Nabu smartband, which has yet to launch officially but should be coming “in weeks.”
Razer also offers a range of software to run on different platforms. The memo notes that the company now has over 10 million users of its software, with over 2 million logged on daily.
While Razer — whose slogan is “For Gamers. By Gamers” — has raised its profile among the gaming community through sponsorships of professional gamers through Team Razer, the company is also making a push to bring its products and gaming in general to a more mainstream audience.
That’s where the Nabu smartband will come into play — literally speaking. Razer’s deals with companies like Tencent will integrate into the Nabu services like WeChat, as well as gamification elements — your activity while wearing the Nabu will translate into points on Tencent games. “We expect to see the Razer Nabu convert more non-gamers to gamers in the months to come,” the memo reads.
There are other interesting details in the memo, including the appointment of three new board members for the San Diego, CA-based company — a prominent investor and two others based in Silicon Valley — which will be officially announced in the near future.