Corsair Gaming Files For An Initial Public Offering
Corsair Gaming, a company that sells gaming peripherals and hardware, has filed papers for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that is aiming to raise $100 million in capital.
Corsair started out in 1994 selling cache modules to original equipment manufacturers, then branched out into providing memory to the server market and ended up in the personal computer market in 2002 with memory kits designed for overclocking CPUs. Today the company sells a wide range of products in the gaming market including gaming headsets, memory, keyboards, mice, power supplies, water cooling units for CPUs, gaming chairs and fully setup gaming PCs. It also recently acquired Elgato Gaming that provides video capture cards for the video streaming market.
The company has grown dramatically since its inception and has reported sales of over $1.3 billion in 2020. The IPO filing states that it has sold over 190 million gaming and video streaming related products since 1998 - with 85 million of those sales clocked up in the last five years. The company has a presence in 75 countries both online and in physical stores (such as Best Buy). The products that it sells through its own website, however, are the smallest portion of its sales.
The Corsair IPO
The Corsair IPO filing includes some risk factors that may affect its future performance. Its reliance on Amazon being one of them (which accounted for almost 27% of its sales) as well as its reliance on its top 10 customers (that accounted for just over 50% of its total sales). Some of the more interesting risk factors mentioned were mobile gaming, cloud gaming and the potential for augmented and virtual reality games in the future. They warn that cloud computing, in particular, could seriously impact the business. The trend towards games that are provided from the cloud, where software runs on the cloud provider's servers and users access games online, means that a user's PC is effectively only a 'dumb terminal' that no longer requires high performance components. If cloud-delivered gaming has a large enough uptake, they point out, it could result in less demand for fast memory, custom gaming PCs and related custom gaming components and this could hurt the company's sales significantly.
The company is presently owned by majority shareholder EagleTree Capital (which paid $525 million for its stake in 2017) and other minority shareholders. Corsair stated in its IPO filing that it has over 18% of the gaming peripherals market and 42% of the gaming PC component market in the US but doesn't provide world-wide sales figures.
Covid 19 and Corsair
While the company has been making a loss on its businesses ($8.4m in 2019), the pandemic appears to have provided a boost with a profit of $23.8m in the first six months alone of 2020. While it does show some good growth prospects, its purchase of Scuf Gaming, for example, means that it owns patents for the technology used in game controllers built by Microsoft and PlayStation, the gaming market is nonetheless undergoing significant change and the company will need to be agile to maintain its position.
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