Gaming Giant Razer Buys Cloud Startup Nextbit

It’s an acquisition season, and the latest comes from Razer, a gaming company that has bought a cloud-based startup called Nextbit for an undisclosed amount.

Nextbit has been having a dream run since its inception. The founders had a vision to build a smartphone around the cloud, so it can allow the seamless use of apps and content. Such an idea would give you the flexibility to access anything you want, without worrying too much about the phone’s storage size or its platform. The founders believed that such a product would greatly enhance the experience of users.

To achieve their vision, they started a fundraising campaign in Kickstarter with a financial goal of $500,000. The campaign was started on 1st September 2015, and within 12 hours, they reached their goal of $500,000. They raised $1.3 million in two weeks, and this surpassed their expectations, as they had aimed to raise $500,000 only over a month. Buoyed by the success of their campaign, Nextbit got down to creating their product, that was touted as the first cloud-based smartphone and the smarter of smartphones.

Within a year, the first cloud smartphone called Robin was shipped to Kickstarter backers and general customers. This device uses cloud storage to store files that have not been used for some time, so users can enjoy more space in their phone for frequently used apps and files. Due to this innovative idea and its huge popularity, Razer acquired Nextbit for an undisclosed sum, though it is speculated that the founders got a sizeable equity in the deal.

As per the terms of the deal, Nextbit will continue with their innovation, but will be a part of a bigger company. According to a blog post by Tom Moss, one of the co-founders, published in Nextbit’s community forum, Nextbit will operate as an independent unit within Razer, and will be focused on providing unique mobile design and experience.

This deal was in the pipeline for some time, and this is why Nextbit stopped selling its Robin smartphones and their accessories. However, the company promised that it will offer warranties for another six months, and will provide software updates and security patches until February 2018.

For Razer, this acquisition is another attempt to diversify its portfolio, so it can better withstand the shocks from any single market. In fact, if you look back, this strategy is in tune with the company’s policies over the last few years. Though it began with selling mouse for PC gamers, it expanded into other areas such as keyboards and headsets, which was the most logical expansion to widen its products. Next, it acquired a company called Nabu to make a foray into wearable technology and Leviathan Mini to add portable speakers to its product portfolio.

This acquisition of Nextbit is a little different from its previous ones, as it is entering an unchartered territory, even by its own standards. It’ll be interesting to see how this acquisition plays out for the company, and also for Nextbit’s customers.

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Lavanya
Lavanya Rathnam is a professional writer of tech and financial blogs. Creative thinker, out of the boxer, content builder and tenacious researcher who specializes in explaining complex ideas to different audiences.
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