Razer Inc. is set to purchase Nextbit, the company who created the Robin smartphone, an Android device that automatically uploads data, apps, and media to the cloud. The cloud smartphone firm will operate as an independent unit inside the San Francisco PC game company. It will focus on unique mobile design and experiences. Financial terms of the deal are however, not disclosed.
The mobile phone that stood out with its green case and emphasis on cloud storage will not be sold anymore, although its maker will provide security patches and software updates between now and February 2018. Razer Inc.’s CEO said that the company will be bringing on Nextbit’s team of 30; the plan is to develop more products keeping the Nextbit brand.
According to Tech Crunch, the financial terms of the acquisition deal includes a decent equity portion. The cloud smartphone company has raised around $18 million in funding from GV, Accel, and Dentsu, and an additional $1.36M on global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
In the last couple of years, Razer Inc. has purchased firms including THX and Ouya, and now it is diving into mobile with the purchase of the company behind the Robin Android smartphone. Mashable notes that the announcement will most likely come as a bit of a disappointment to fans of Robin, which was successfully crowdfunded in 2015. The mobile phone came with the promise to leverage cloud storage so users would never run out of space on their smartphones.
Razer Inc. is buying smartphone startup Nextbit and will keep it around as an independent division. Three months after purchasing iconic audio tech firm THX, the PC game company is making another move to expand its business beyond software and hardware for the gaming community. Nextbit CEO and cofounder Tom Moss said that they will be doing exactly what they have been doing all along, “only bigger and better.” He added that joining up with Razer Inc. will allow the startup to “reach much further.”
Recode notes that whether Nextbit investors earn their money back will depend on how its new parent firm fares in an eventual Initial Public Offering (IPO), since the agreement was an all-stock one. The company was started by Motorola and Google veterans and appeared to be promising based on its team alone.
Razer Inc. is acquiring Nextbit and its cloud smartphone Robin. It has picked up the majority of the assets as well as the employees and management of Nextbit. The maker of the quirky Robin Android phone has ceased selling the smartphone and sold its assets to the PC game company. It has found a landing place where the company can tap a massive existing audience of the PC game firm’s fans and customers.
By Anila Maring
Photo Courtesy Kickstarter