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Gamer gear company Razer said it plans to acquire the remaining 65 percent of shares of virtual currency firm MOL Global for $61 million in cash.
Razer already owns 34.9 percent of the Malaysia-based MOL Global, which has a virtual credits platform that is popular in Asia. Razer invested $20 million in MOL Global in June 2017.
The move strengthens Razer’s move into ecommerce. Earlier this month, Razer launched its own alternative app store to Steam. It will use that store to push its zVault digital wallet and zGold rewards program for gamers. Through the virtual currency program, gamers can now earn zSilver currency by playing their favorite PC games launched with Razer Cortex. Razer Cortex is free software that gives gamers a wide array of PC performance tools and game deal search tools.
“This acquisition will combine Razer’s zGold and MOL Global’s MOLPoints virtual credits, creating one of the largest virtual credits platforms for gamers in the world,” said Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer, in a statement. “Southeast Asia represents one of the highest GDP growth regions with one of the youngest demographics in the world. Additionally, given that MOL Global already runs one of the largest e-payments networks in Southeast Asia, the integration of MOL Global’s businesses represents an exciting new business segment with boundless potential that Razer can extend into. Over and above, we will be able to leverage on MOL Global’s leading technologies, as well as its massive network of content, customers and partners built over 17 years, and extend our existing businesses by capturing the fast-growing Southeast Asia region for Razer.”
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Credit cards aren’t used much in Southeast Asia. MOL Global’s offline-to-online payment model has about a million offline payment points, making it the largest virtual credits platform for gamers in the region. This has enabled games companies such as Sony PlayStation Store SEA, Facebook Gameroom, Nexon, and Wargaming to monetize their games and digital content in Southeast Asia.
Upon the completion of the merger, Razer’s current zGold virtual credits business will be combined with MOL Global’s MOLPoints virtual credits business, creating one of the world’s largest virtual credits platforms for gamers under a single entity. The hope is this will accelerate and scale up the services category within Razer’s gamer-focused ecosystem, allowing games and media companies to continue to further monetize their games and content worldwide on a singular platform with economy of scale.
MOL Global currently operates one of the largest e-payment networks in Southeast Asia. In 2017, it handled more than $1.1 billion in payments. Razer went public last year, and it has its headquarters in San Francisco and Singapore.
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