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The CEO of a gaming firm thought his company would only make one product. It’s now worth $500 million

Lucy Handley
May 23, 2018

Entrepreneur Min-Liang Tan made a computer mouse especially for gamers and thought that would be all his company would sell.

Back in 2005, he founded gaming hardware business Razer with Robert Krakoff and launched the Diamondback mouse, testing it out on his friends.

Fast-forward to 2018 and the company still makes mice, but has added gaming keyboards, headsets and laptops and has more than 40 million users on its software platform. It made $517.9 million in revenue in 2017 and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in November, raising $528 million.

"Candidly, I don't think we even had a thought that this would last anything beyond a single product. We're now the number one … in the U.S., Europe, China for all gaming peripherals (hardware) at this point of time," Tan told CNBC's "The Brave Ones."

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As a Razer product user, I think Razer has strayed a little from their roots. Their mice are now plagued with double clicking issues, which makes it worse than a $2 mouse from Lazada.. And innovation in their mice technology has glaringly lagged behind Logitech in recent years.

I think Razer should rediscover the focus that earn them a cult following in the first place, and return to the basics.
I thought Tan did very well, young and enterprising, mouse biz become 500 milo co... Smile Smile Smile
hope he continues to develop more products and keep razer sharp! Big Grin
Min-Liang Tan: The man in the machine

Lucy Handley
Published 1:36 AM ET Fri, 29 June 2018
Updated 5:45 AM ET Fri, 29 June 2018

Min-Liang Tan was a childhood gamer who made his hobby his business, founding Razer in 2005. Now part of a $130 billion industry, it is one of the gaming world’s largest companies — and it all started with a single computer mouse.

Singaporean entrepreneur Min-Liang Tan was supposed to be a lawyer. Coming from a “pretty traditional” Asian family, his parents mapped out their expectations for him.

“My mom would say, ‘You know, I think you guys can either be a doctor or a lawyer.’ And, I've got my sister who's a doctor, my other sister's a lawyer, my brother's a really well-respected clinician oncologist. He's super smart. And I did my law degree. So two doctors, two lawyers, go figure, right?” he told CNBC’s “The Brave Ones.”

Now Tan’s worth more than a billion dollars, according to Forbes, but not for practicing law. His gaming hardware company Razer was launched in 2005 on a single product, a computer mouse specifically for gamers. Last year, the San Francisco and Singapore-headquartered company made $517.9 million in revenue and it has a market value of 17.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.2 billion).

“Gaming is now the biggest vertical within media. It's a $130 billion industry alone, growing double digits every single year for a 10-year basis.” Neil Campling, analyst, Mirabaud Securities

And if you think gaming is just for geeks, consider that it’s now an industry that beats the global movie business — worth $88.4 billion in 2017 — for size. “Gaming is now the biggest vertical within media. It's a $130 billion industry alone, growing double digits every single year for a 10-year basis,” Mirabaud Securities analyst Neil Campling told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” earlier this month.

Much of the industry is driven by gaming apps such as Pokemon Go, Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds (games account for about half of the top 10 most popular apps on the Apple store), but it’s the hardware that U.S.-based Razer creates, “peripherals” such as computer mice and keyboards that it’s famous for.

Their precise function and distinctive black and rainbow lights design got Razer noticed among the gaming community and has helped it to become a leader in the esports industry, where people gather in arenas to watch gamers competing.

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I cannot understand why Razer share price is dropping like flies. Despite new revenue stream from e-wallet, their share price is dropping. Anyone know the reason why it is dropping?
1. Razer is valued like a tech company (negative net income, negative free cash flow, P/S ratio of 3.75 as of today, after the decline) yet doesn't have a single disruptive technology (that I know of anyway), that has a long runway, huge total addressable market etc., which it already is the market leader.

2. So far, in the most recent quarter, its losses has widen. Albeit, with a high sales growth rate of 30+%. Note that sales growth over last 4 years since 2014 is "only" 64% or a CAGR of ~13%.

3. It doesn't seem like the margin issue gets better with increasing sales, unlike some software companies like Netflix and Amazon, with more or less fixed costs, that get more and more profitable as they scale larger. 

4. It doesn't have a mass market product; Razer sells more of a niche product (gaming peripherals) with increasing competition from China and other consumer electronics company like Logitech. I think some market participants (like me) may feel that it is a glorified consumer electronics company, until it can prove otherwise.

5. Comparatively, a similar consumer electronics company, Logitech has a P/S ratio of 3.04 and PE of 33+. And that is already considered high.

6. Asian stocks are currently pummeled due to rising trade tension. Especially, more "speculative" counters like Razer with negative profits.

7. The poor "technicals" (price trend) doesn't help.

Hence, the declining valuation. 

My 2c only. All ratios are found by a quick Google search, probably not too precise.
I do not consider it at all that is a growth stock. I don't see the proprietary tech behinds it. The most they are worth in PE like HP Inc or Dell. No more. They are basically hardware produced by OEMs. And I do not see their RD on par with this MNCs in scale or experience.
Wearing a black T-shirt during interviews doesn't make one Steve Jobs.

#Tesla #XiaoMi and so on.
More share buy backs today 3.814 mil @ HK$1.8957
6.074 mil was bought back @ HK$1.7426 on 23-07-2018

The Board believes that it is the appropriate time to repurchase the Shares to enhance shareholder value for the long term. The Board also believes that the Company has sufficient financial resources to enable it to conduct the Proposed Share Repurchase while ensuring that the Company retains the financial flexibility to fund the continued growth of our hardware, software and services ecosystem with a user base of more than 50 million registered users as of June 2018, targeting the large and growing addressable market estimated to be over 2.34 billion1 gamers worldwide. As of December 31, 2017, the Company had US$739 million in cash and bank balances.
How good a gamer is Razer CEO Tan Min-Liang? We challenged him and found out
* Tan has turned his passion for gaming into a global business with more than US$700 million in revenue last year
* Razer is building an ecosystem of products and services catering to gamers

Zheping Huang
Published: 6:00am, 1 Apr, 2019

Tan Min-Liang hates Tim Cook and Jack Dorsey.

Or more precisely, the kind of early-morning routine that the CEOs of Apple and Twitter favour: gym workouts, yoga, runs and meditation performed when most people are still in bed.

“A lot of tech CEOs wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning, they meditate, and then they go for a run,” Tan, 42, co-founder and chief executive of gaming hardware maker Razer, said in a recent mid-morning interview. “I hate all those CEOs. I cannot do that.”

Tan wakes up at 8am most days if he has “no choice”, checks email in bed before “dragging” himself to work. That last comment is misleading given how the avid gamer built Razer into a global business with a cult following in the gaming community. One fan tattooed Tan’s likeness on his calf. Many more have inked themselves with Razer’s logo of three intertwined snakes.

Today, he is arguably one the most high-profile tech entrepreneurs from Singapore since Sim Wong Hoo, the 64-year-old founder of Creative Technology, the company behind Sound Blaster audio cards.

Tan chose to list his company in Hong Kong instead of Singapore in 2017, raising more than US$500 million and making him one of the richest self-made Singaporeans at the age of 40.

For this interview, we originally wanted to do something other than play video games with Tan, as part of an occasional series where South China Morning Post reporters engage tech personalities in their hobbies outside of work.

What does Tan like besides gaming, we asked his team. “Er, just gaming, he does not have any hobbies,” came the reply. Was that a tactic to ensure the story focuses on Razer and gaming? “Er, no, he really does not have any other hobbies or passions besides gaming,” back came the response.

So together with Josh Ye from our sister news site Abacus, which earlier live-streamed an interview with Tan from Razer’s store in Causeway Bay, we settled down to play Apex Legends, the wildly popular battle royale title that is Tan’s latest obsession. We had proposed playing arcade games like Mario Kart or Street Fighter, but deferred to his preference.

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