Temasek's Heliconia invests in gaming chair firm

Secretlab's gaming chairs range from synthetic leather options for $429 to full leather designs for about $1,000. Secretlab founders Alaric Choo (wearing cap) and Ian Alexander Ang started the company in 2014, and its gaming chairs are now available
Secretlab founders Alaric Choo (wearing cap) and Ian Alexander Ang started the company in 2014, and its gaming chairs are now available in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The deal between Heliconia and Secretlab is believed to be worth between $200 million and $300 million.PHOTO: SECRETLAB
Secretlab's gaming chairs range from synthetic leather options for $429 to full leather designs for about $1,000. Secretlab founders Alaric Choo (wearing cap) and Ian Alexander Ang started the company in 2014, and its gaming chairs are now available
Secretlab's gaming chairs range from synthetic leather options for $429 to full leather designs for about $1,000. PHOTO: SECRETLAB

Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management has invested in home-grown gaming chair specialist Secretlab.

The Straits Times understands that the valuation of the partnership is between $200 million and $300 million, and the investment will see Heliconia take up a minority stake in Secretlab.

Secretlab said the investment firm was its first external investor.

With the move, Secretlab joins a suite of firms that have received monies from the Temasek subsidiary. Others include hardware gaming firm Razer and Ascent Solutions, which specialises in the Internet of Things.

Secretlab co-founder and chief executive Ian Alexander Ang said the company is excited to partner Heliconia. He said the gaming chair company will benefit from the investment firm's long-term strategic insights and extensive contacts.

The Heliconia-Secretlab partnership will also provide the "maturity and experience" to take Secretlab further, added Mr Ang.

The company has a relatively young team, with an average age of 28 for staff.

Mr Ang and Mr Alaric Choo, the other co-founder, put up the initial capital to start Secretlab in 2014, and the firm's gaming chairs are now available in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, among other countries.

Heliconia's CEO Derek Lau noted that Secretlab has expanded rapidly within a short period of time and has gained global recognition for its products among both gamers and non-gamers.

"We believe the company has significant growth potential," he said.

"As a Singaporean, I am very proud of what Ian and Alaric have achieved so far. We hope to add value, and journey with them going forward."

The local firm is considered one of the leading players in the global gaming-chair space, having sold more than 200,000 chairs worldwide and earned top reviews from tech review sites such as PCMag and CNET.

Last year, the Secretlab co-founders made it to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list.

The firm's ergonomically-contoured chairs range from synthetic leather options for $429 to full leather designs for about $1,000.

Secretlab's tie-up with Heliconia is the latest in a string of developments. In April, it announced an endorsement deal with English international footballer Dele Alli, who plays for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

Earlier, in January, the firm announced it was named the official seat for the e-sports League of Legends (LOL) Championship Series in North America, as well as three premier LOL global events.


Correction note: An earlier version of this article said that Heliconia invested between $200 million and $300 million in Secretlab. This is the estimated valuation of the deal and not the investment amount. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2019, with the headline 'Temasek's Heliconia invests in gaming chair firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe