PC Maker NZXT Raises $103.5 Million to Help Gamers Navigate the Chip Shortage

PC Maker NZXT Raises $103.5 Million to Help Gamers Navigate 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


When Darien Williams and Melanie Wolff opened Brella, their Montessori-inspired childcare center, in Playa Vista in 2019, they were inspired by the likes of WeWork and SoulCycle, which had multiple locations and easy-to-use apps for scheduling meetings and workout sessions. The pair found that parents juggling hectic day jobs with their children’s preschool schedules were drawn to a tech-enabled, more flexible way to schedule childcare for their kids.

Read more Show less
Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

Read more Show less
Ben Bergman

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.