Corsair sinks in IPO, but stay-at-home could be good for the do-it-yourself gaming company

Corsair Gaming, a hardware and accessory company, is going public Wednesday under the ticker symbol CRSR. On launch, its shares were priced at $15 and its shares were down about 4% in mid-afternoon trading.

a person sitting at a desk using a computer mouse

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Corsair (CRSR) sells gaming hardware and accessories, including computer parts that people can use to build their own custom PCs, mice, headsets and keyboards. The company has grown its revenue to $1.3 billion over the last 12 months ending in June.

Because of its emphasis on computer parts, a lot of Corsair’s business is geared toward the PC gamer segment, meaning the company’s growth partially depends on whether more console gamers and non-gamers convert over to PCs.

During Covid-19, it looks like more people are indeed turning to building their own gaming PCs, including Superman actor Henry Cavill, who went viral for assembling one on camera. Games that are exclusive to the PC platform, such as “League of Legends,” have also picked up steam, and Corsair is also a sponsor of League’s sporting events.

Covid-19 has been both good and bad for Corsair, as demand has outstripped supply. It helped the company grow its revenue over the first half of this year, bringing in a $23.8 million profit, after two years of net losses. But it’s also listed as a risk factor in the company’s regulatory filing to go public, as it has slowed down the supply chain.

“With people at home, they’re able to spend a little bit more time on the internet, sharing content with friends,” CEO Andy Paul told CNN Business. “That’s been really helpful for consumer demand. We’ve still got a huge untapped market in front of us, because the vast number of gamers have yet to buy specialized gear.”

Corsair is the latest in a string of tech companies to go public, including popular gaming development platform Unity trading under the ticker symbol “U,” and cloud data storage company Snowflake, which became the biggest software IPO ever, with shares more than doubling on their first day of trading.

“We’re already waiting for Wall Street investors to understand gaming and streaming properly. Some of these new industries… are tough for investors to understand,” said Paul. “Perhaps people saw gamers as sort of a troubled teenager playing games in the basement. It’s a real sport… it’s become mainstream and we understand this is a great time to finally become a public company.”

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