In a surprising move, Corsair, a maker of PC components and PCs, this week announced that it had acquired Kinoni's EpocCam, a program that transforms Apple's iPhone and iPad into a feature-rich wireless webcam that can be used to chat, collaborate, stream, and record video. The program will be used to boost Corsair's portfolio of Elgato-branded products for content creators. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
At times, it is strange to see hardware companies buying software assets, but a closer look at what Corsair is today may shed some light on the acquisition rationale. Corsair was established in 1994 to build enthusiast-grade memory modules. Eventually, the company branched out into other computer components, including NAND flash-based products, computer cases, PSUs, coolers, keyboards, and mice. With a broad product portfolio, Corsair transformed into essentially a gaming hardware company and even changed its name from Corsair Components to Corsair Gaming somewhere along the line.
To strengthen its gaming business, Corsair took over Origin PC, a boutique PC maker, SCUF Gaming, a maker of controllers for PCs and consoles, as well as Elgato, a producer of solutions for professional game streamers, in the last couple of years. But to properly address the gaming market at large, Corsair needs not only competitive hardware but complete solutions consisting of many pieces.
Corsair's Elgato has different kinds of live streaming equipment starting from video/game capture cards all the way to stream decks (which control the presentation) and even lighting. Elgato still does not have cameras and webcams, though. Instead of building its own high-end camera and/or webcam (which costs quite a lot) for a rather niche market, Corsair decided that it is easier to buy a program that transforms iPads and iPhones into webcams for game streamers. After all, modern smartphones have far better cameras and optics than mainstream webcams do.
The EpocCam app will continue to be compatible with Zoom, Skype, OBS Studio, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams and will allow anyone with an Apple Mac or a Windows PC to chat, stream, or record. Meanwhile, the latest version of EpocCam has been integrated into the wider Elgato ecosystem of content creation tools to suit professional game streamers better.
Corsair is on the rise these days, partly because people who stay at home are more inclined to spend on gaming in general and gaming hardware in particular. According to The Esports Observer, the company went public and raised $118.6 million in September. Corsair sold 7.5 million shares at $17 a share, which put its market capitalization at $1.56 billion. A little more than a month later, Corsair's share price jumped to $24.9, and its market capitalization is now at $2.277 billion.