Razer acquires close to 20% stake in Malaysian e-payment platform MOL Global

Singapore-founded gaming hardware company Razer has acquired a minority stake of 19.9% in Malaysian e-payment platform MOL Global, Inc.

According to the press statement, the strategic investment by Razer gives MOL an "implied valuation" of US$100 million, and is expected to help both companies to work towards the goal of establishing zGold. This will be the de facto virtual currency for gamers worldwide.

It is the first time Razer has purchased a minority stake in an e-payment company, Razer's spokesperson said in a statement to A+M. The spokesperson declined to comment on the monetary amount of the investment.

To leverage Razer's brand name in the gaming industry, MOL's virtual currency - MOLPoints - will be rebranded as zGold-MOLPoints and sold at over one million online and retail stores in countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Razer's spokesperson said all of MOL's marketing collaterals in Southeast Asia will be "rebranded progressively" to reflect the new brand logo of zGold-MOLPoints. This includes payment gateways and prepaid cards.

There will be no key personnel changes as both companies aim to collaborate to help businesses commercialise digital content with virtual currencies as secure payment methods. Both companies will also work closely together to ensure merchant partners shall have no conflicts, both commercially and towards end users.

MOL has also been appointed as the master distributor of Razer's virtual currency Razer zGold. This will allow Razer's virtual currency to be accepted as payment for over 2,500 content titles from MOL's network.

"This partnership holds true to our commitment to give value back to our gamers by offering a universe of digital content, secure and convenient payments and a unique gamer rewards program," Min-Liang Tan (pictured), Razer CEO and co-founder, said.

MOL Global is an e-payment platform with a distribution network of 970,000 locations in 11 countries across the world. In addition to MOLPoints, its range of products and services include MOLReloads, a network that distributes prepaid mobile airtime and digital content; MOLPay, a payments solution for online merchants; and MOLWallet, an online payment processing and money transfer application.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Francisco, Razer is backed by Digital Grid, Intel Capital, IDG-Accel and Temasek. Among its signature products are the Razer Blade gaming laptops and software services such as Razer Cortex.

In a bid to help businesses commercialise digital content with virtual currencies as secure payment methods, Razer and MOL both seek to share technology to boost innovation in the fintech sector.

"We are excited to partner with Razer to exponentially expand our reach to millions of gamers globally. With MOL and Razer's leadership in virtual currency and gaming markets, everyone will have better access to great content," Preecha Praipattarakul, group chief executive officer, MOL Global, Inc. said.