It seems Razer CEO and co-founder, Min-Liang Tan, is working on that “unified e-payments system for Singapore” that he promised Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last year – and more.
In a statement released Monday (23 April), the Hong Kong-listed company announced its intentions to fully acquire payments firm MOL Global that’s based in Malaysia.
With this move, Razer is valued at US$100 million (~S$132.3 million), according to The Business Times, as it buys over the remaining 65.1% of MOL Global’s shares with US$61 million (~S$80.7 million).
Go Big Or Go Home
The statement explained that MOL Global, being the “largest virtual credits platform for gamers in SEA”, has enabled games companies such as Sony Playstation SEA, Facebook Gameroom, Nexon, and Wargaming to monetise their games and digital content here.
That is because MOL Global’s offline-to-online payment model, which has about 1 million offline payment points, is useful in a region that has low credit card penetration.
When both companies have fully merged, Razer’s virtual credit, zGold, and MOL Global’s virtual credit, MOLPoints, will be rebranded as zGold, and this would create “one of the world’s largest virtual credits platforms for gamers under a single entity”.
The acquisition would “accelerate and scale-up the Services category within Razer’s gamer-focused ecosystem”, according to the statement.
Companies such as Lazada, Grab, and UNIQLO are some of MOL Global’s customers that are using its online payments service, and it has handled over US$1.1 billion (~S$1.4 billion) of total payment value in 2017 through its e-payment network.
Razer said that this merger gives the tech company a boost in the e-payments category which is “complementary and accretive” to its business.
Sharpening Its Services In SEA
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Pretty cool to have Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Dr @kohpohkoon come hang out at our offices earlier this week. It's always awesome to have the government interested in gamers, gaming and esports (and whatever crazy stuff we're up to generally) – and we're looking forward to pushing the limits of innovation in the country with their support! PS: He was pretty chill when we unveiled some of our more insane plans for Singapore, so I'm assuming he's good with them 😀
Razer also looks to expand its business in SEA, noting that this region has one of the fastest GDP growth and the “youngest demographics in the world” and it “seeks to seize the exciting market potential”.
Tan said that with the integration of MOL Global’s businesses means a “new business segment with boundless potential that Razer can extend into”.
He added that Razer will be able to leverage on MOL Global’s technologies and its “network of content, customers, and partners built over 17 years” to extend their existing business in the region.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Tan said:
We are already the No. 1 gaming brand in the U.S., Europe and China, but Southeast Asia is still nascent and a very small part of our business. We see this [deal with MOL] as stuff we can do immediately.
Earlier this month, Razer launched its official Razer Game Store on Lazada, a service similar to Steam.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Mr Ian Tan, Razer’s Senior Director for Global Marketing said the gaming hardware company “chose to partner Lazada instead of launching its game store directly for the Southeast Asia market” because of the “diversity of consumer behaviour”.
Mathias Castell, Digital Store Director of Razer, added that this allows them to tap on Lazada’s data analytics on consumer behaviour, which goes well with their own artificial intelligence so they can “offer customers ‘the right game at the right time'”.
Tan shared this move “gives colour to what [they’re] building for RazerPay”, in another interview with The Business Times.
“Now, we definitely have capabilities on a technical level, and merchants and key partners on board. We will also operate one of the largest e-payment operations in Southeast Asia,” he added.
There are no dates on when RazerPay will be launched here but it is reported that when it does, it will “enable cashless capabilities” in SEA too.
Nonetheless, we’ll be looking forward to it.
Featured Image Credit: Min-Liang Tan Facebook