Singapore-based gaming gear company Razer has established a $50 million fund focused on environmentally-friendly startups as its peers across the tech space chase millennials and extra dollars by stressing eco-friendliness.
The fund, called Razer Green Fund, emerges a month into Razer’s 10-year plan to “preserve nature and protect the environment” through renewable energy and carbon-neutral projects, the company said in a statement. Over time, Razer, founded and led by Singaporean billionaire Min-Liang Tan, plans to make gamers worldwide “contribute to green causes,” the statement adds.
“Asian technology companies are morphing into global stakeholders,” says Abishur Prakash, a Toronto-based author on technology and politics. “This means these companies are beginning to rethink their relationship with the world, especially when it comes to sustainability and climate change. By acting this way, they are attracting certain demographics, like Gen Z and millennials, who care about sustainability and the environment.”
“I agree that millennials care about that kind of thing,” says Sean Su, an independent tech sector analyst in Taiwan. “And there’s money in this. If you have extra capital, I don’t see why you wouldn’t devote to doing this. E-corporations grow faster than regular ones because people feel good when they buy from them.”
Last year, Razer reported its first profit in six years, making $5.6 million in net income from $1.2 billion in revenue—up 48% from the previous year—as more people played games at home during the pandemic.
Razer Green Fund’s first investment is in The Nurturing Co., a Singapore-headquartered sustainable consumer products company, best known for its Bambooloo brand of toilet paper that uses environmentally-friendly paper packaging. In addition to its seed investment in The Nurturing Co., Razer will use Bambooloo at some of its offices, including its soon-to-open Southeast Asian headquarters and Malaysia office.
Investors of Razer Green Fund, which is managed by Razer’s corporate ventures arm, zVentures, will get a piece of Asia’s growing interest in sustainability while “alternative” vehicles are likely to drive transactions, says Alastair Sewell, a senior director of fund and asset management at Fitch Ratings.
A lot of companies have extra funds to invest because of the pandemic, Prakash adds, another reason for buying into green startups. “There is a massive amount of pent up demand in the corporate world,” he says.