NZXT Raises $103.5 Million to Help Users Game the Chip Shortage

NZXT Raises $103.5 Million to Help Users Game the Chip Shortage

As gamers struggle to get their hands on key components including graphics chips, a PC company that’s offering a workaround of sorts just raised $103.5 million, according to a recent regulatory filing.

NZXT sells PC cases and accessories, as well as custom and pre-built gaming machines. The 17-year-old company closed the nine-figure deal within the last month, and it estimated that $35 million would be used to repurchase stock from co-founder Johnny Hou, who also co-founded L.A.-based coffee accessories maker Acaia.

Headquartered in the City of Industry, about 20 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles, NZXT did not respond to requests for comment on the deal.

Supply-chain issues triggered by the pandemic, as well as rising demand and scalpers, have inflated the price of many PC components and made them harder to come by in recent years. It’s a massive headache for players and streamers, who need the right hardware to run graphically demanding games such as “Grand Theft Auto V,” as well as less intensive titles such as “Fortnight.”

The phenomenon led NZXT to ditch the dedicated graphics card entirely in its new $800 Foundation PC. Instead, the budget-minded machine offers a general-purpose Ryzen 5600G processor. The CPU includes a built-in GPU and is less appealing to scalpers, but it apparently can still handle popular online games like “League of Legends.”

The offering reflects how supply-chain troubles have forced companies to get creative so they can continue shipping out new products.

In addition to supply-chain woes, NZXT recalled tens of thousands of PC cases earlier this year. The company’s H1 mini-ITX model posed a fire hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

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Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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