Following news that Razer would launch some form of corporate investment fund which emerged last autumn, the gaming giant has officially unleashed zVentures, a venture capital arm with $30 million (around £23 million, AU$40 million) to invest in tech innovations and startups.
Razer says it specifically wants to back emerging companies across a number of tech arenas including the Internet of Things, big data, robotics, virtual reality and AR – along with areas which are more traditionally associated with the firm such as eSports and gaming software tech.
While the IoT and big data in particular might seem like surprising avenues for exploration by Razer on the face of it, the fact is that the predicted massive increases in the number of connected devices can’t be ignored – and fields such as VR and AI will inevitably be tied in with IoT and big data going forward.
Virtual reality is, of course, not just about gaming, but also about the future of chats, online meetings, and indeed VR could potentially revolutionise the visualisation of big data itself.
As mentioned, the initial fund is $30 million (around £23 million, AU$40 million), of which $5 million (around £3.8 million, AU$6.5 million) is earmarked for investments in VR tech and content development, and a further $5 million is destined to fund Android games.
Razer notes that companies which it invests in will continue to operate completely independently, and are free to work with other industry partners, and to obtain funding from other sources.
Co-founder and CEO of Razer, Min-Liang Tan, commented: "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."
Apparently zVentures is already on the hunt for promising startups to invest in. If you want your own outfit to be considered by Razer, then there is a form to pitch to the company on the official zVentures website.