- The Business Times
Since announcing funding from Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management on Tuesday (Aug 13), Secretlab – a local gaming chair brand with fans worldwide – is now valued at an estimated S$200 to S$300 million, Business Insider understands.
It is the first known valuation of the Singapore start-up.
Heliconia – which previously invested in Razer and One Championship – did not disclose its funding figure, but a report by The Straits Times said the firm now owns a minority stake in Secretlab.
Heliconia CEO Derek Lau said that Secretlab had “significant growth potential”, having rapidly gained global recognition for its ultra-comfortable gaming seats.
The capital injection is the first time the start-up has ever accepted external funding, which it will use to research new products, procure supplies, and hire talent.
According to its co-founder Ian Ang, the brand had “never seen [itself] taking up an outside investor” in the past, as the business was sustainable.
“We’ve always done things in our own unique way… [but the] team at Heliconia have really shown how genuine and capable they are in helping us get to the next level,” he said.
Founded in 2014, Secretlab was funded by the savings of founders Ang, 27, and Alaric Choo, 31, both competitive StarCraft II gamers.
The pair were inspired to start making chairs after an unsuccessful search for a comfortable gaming seat.
Within four years, the brand sold over 200,000 chairs worldwide, and last year made an estimated US$15 million (S$20.7 million) in sales, according to Forbes.
Both founders also made it onto Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list.
Reminiscing about the start-up’s bare-bones initial setup, Ang said in a LinkedIn post that it was “crazy to think how [the company] started with temporary storage spaces with broken locks, hand-sketched drawings, and completely empty bank accounts just 5 years ago”.
He added: “Can’t wait to see where this new partnership will take us in a few years.”
A previous version of this article stated that Secretlab received S$200 to S$300 million in funding from Heliconia Capital Management. It has been edited for clarity, to say that Secretlab is worth S$200 to S$300 million after funding from Heliconia Capital Management.