Since starting their gaming chair company Secretlab in 2014, founders Ian Ang and Alaric Choo have never taken funding from others to help them build their brand.
When they started up, they relied on their own savings and bank loans instead of raising seed funding, and have chosen to be self-sustaining for the past five years.
Today this changes.
Secretlab announced on 13 August 2019 that they’ve entered an investment deal with Temasek-owned Heliconia Capital Management—their first external investor.
Heliconia is taking a minority stake in Secretlab, in a deal worth somewhere between S$200 and S$300 million.
This puts Secretlab among other young and fast-growing players to join “a suite of successful companies backed by Heliconia” including Razer and ONE Championship.
In a press release, Secretlab said the investment will help them further their “research & development initiatives, procurement of supply chain, and attracting the brightest and most promising talents and unique global partnerships”.
With Heliconia’s backing, Secretlab can tap on a larger ecosystem to fulfil its “global drive of providing every user in the world with quality seats for long hours of gaming and work”.
We’ve never seen ourselves taking up an outside investor, as we’ve always done things in our own unique way, and Secretlab is a self-sustaining business. [But] Derek (Heliconia’s CEO) and his team at Heliconia, alongside his Temasek colleagues, have really shown how genuine and capable they are in helping us get to the next level.Ian Ang, CEO and Co-founder, Secretlab
“We see this as adding turbos to our engines, and we can’t wait to see where we can journey with them,” Ian added.
Secretlab has been enjoying “meteoric growth”, especially seeing sales increase tenfold in two years since 2017.
In 2018, its founders Ian and Alaric were named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Today, they have sold 200,000 chairs to a user base beyond just gamers, and also released their upgraded Secretlab 2020 series of chairs to high acclaim in 2019, following three years of extensive R&D.
In this eventful year for Secretlab, they’ve been chosen as the chair of choice for all of Riot’s League of Legends global tournaments as well as Valve’s Dota 2 The International, which holds the world’s largest esports prize pool of $32 million.
They also launched multiple collaborations with HBO’s Game of Thrones and Warner Bros’ Batman, hitting home for pop culture lovers.
Featured Image Credit: Secretlab