The Evolution of Secretlab: From Startup to Gaming Chair Giant

In today’s gaming world, where immersive experiences and marathon sessions are the norms, the environment in which a gamer plays has become as crucial as the hardware they utilize. Leading this realm of ergonomic luxury is Secretlab, an entity synonymous with premium gaming chairs. But how did a brand, now celebrated across gaming dens and professional esports arenas alike, ascend to such a lofty pedestal in a market that once barely recognized the need for specialized seating?

From being an idea sparked in a tiny room to becoming a globally acknowledged brand, Secretlab’s journey mirrors the evolution of gaming itself – shifting from a casual pastime to a serious endeavor, demanding nothing less than the best supporting gear. Just as a gamer craves the highest-end graphics card or the most responsive keyboard, the modern player knows the importance of the chair they settle into for hours on end. In this nuanced ecosystem, Secretlab didn’t just find its niche; it created one. Join us as we trace the riveting journey of Secretlab, from its unassuming inception to its coronation as the kingpin of gaming chairs.

Founding and Early Days

At the heart of every transformative brand is a vision, often stemming from personal experience. This couldn’t be truer for Secretlab. Co-founders Ian Alexander Ang and Alaric Choo, both avid gamers, frequently felt the discomfort of extended gaming sessions in subpar chairs. The realization wasn’t just an ‘aha’ moment; it was a personal pain point. While ergonomic office chairs existed and bean bags were a laid-back alternative, there was a glaring gap — no chair catered specifically to the unique demands of the gaming community.


In 2014, with limited capital but boundless determination, the duo established Secretlab in Singapore. Their initial office space was humble, a stark contrast to the global empire we see today. They prioritized exhaustive research and prototyping, convinced that to capture the hearts of gamers, they’d need more than just a comfortable chair. They envisaged a seat that would be an emblem of a gamer’s identity – sleek, customizable, and purpose-built for marathon sessions.

Challenges, as expected, were abundant. From convincing skeptical suppliers to work with a fledgling brand, securing quality yet affordable materials, to fighting the widespread notion that ‘any chair would do’ for gaming. However, each hurdle only strengthened their resolve. With the launch of their first line of chairs, the reception was positive, albeit with constructive criticisms. True to their gamer spirit, Ian and Alaric treated this feedback not as setbacks but as ‘patches’ – areas to improve upon in their next ‘release’.

In the whirlwind of the first few years, Secretlab’s identity began to crystallize. The brand wasn’t merely selling chairs; it was creating a revolution in how the gaming community perceived comfort and style. The days of makeshift gaming setups were fading, and Secretlab was pioneering the dawn of a new era.

Initial Challenges

Launching a startup is akin to navigating a minefield, and for Secretlab, the journey was no different. While their vision was clear and their passion palpable, turning that vision into a tangible, market-ready product was fraught with obstacles.

  1. Skepticism and Market Education: The gaming chair market was, at the time, a nebulous concept. Many gamers were content with any available chair, often repurposing traditional office chairs. Introducing a dedicated gaming chair meant not just selling a product but also educating the market about its necessity. Convincing a traditionally frugal audience to invest in a premium, specialized chair was a mammoth task.
  2. Sourcing Quality Materials: To stand out, Secretlab needed materials that were both durable and comfortable. Early on, they faced skepticism from suppliers, many of whom were hesitant to work with a new, unproven entity. Striking the balance between cost-effectiveness and premium quality, without compromising on either, was a continuous challenge.
  3. Production and Quality Control: Quality control is a keystone of brand reputation, especially for startups looking to carve a niche. Initial production runs were fraught with minor inconsistencies. Addressing these while ensuring timely delivery was a logistical puzzle.
  4. Competitive Landscape: The chair market, albeit not gaming-specific, was saturated. Dominated by longstanding office chair manufacturers and cheap knock-offs, Secretlab had to convince consumers of their unique value proposition.
  5. Financial Constraints: With limited initial capital, every penny counted. Allocating resources to research, production, marketing, and customer service, all while maintaining a buffer for unforeseen challenges, demanded astute financial planning and prioritization.
  6. Feedback Management: Early adopters provided a mix of rave reviews and pointed criticisms. For a young company, managing this feedback, both in terms of product improvement and public relations, was crucial. The brand’s image teetered on the tightrope of consumer perception.
  7. Positioning and Branding: Determining how to position themselves in the market was vital. Were they a luxury brand, a necessity for dedicated gamers, or something in between? Crafting a narrative that resonated with their target audience, while standing out from competitors, required careful strategizing.

In the face of these challenges, Secretlab displayed resilience and adaptability. Each hurdle, rather than deterring them, offered lessons that would shape the brand’s future trajectory. They approached every setback with a gamer’s mindset: identify the challenge, strategize, and level up.

Key Milestones

Secretlab’s ascent wasn’t a straightforward path but rather a series of defining moments that cemented their place in the gaming industry. Here are some of the milestones that were crucial to their evolution:

  1. Launch of the OMEGA and TITAN Series: These were not just product launches; they were declarations of Secretlab’s capabilities. With the OMEGA catering to a more compact design and the TITAN offering a larger and more feature-rich experience, Secretlab demonstrated their ability to cater to diverse gaming audiences.
  2. Introduction of PRIME™ 2.0 PU Leather: Diving deep into material science, Secretlab developed their proprietary PRIME™ 2.0 PU Leather. This was more than an upgrade; it was a testament to their commitment to longevity and comfort. This material was heralded for its enhanced durability, softness, and resistance to wear and tear.
  3. Special Edition Collaborations: Their Batman-themed “Dark Knight” edition was just the beginning. Over time, Secretlab engaged in various collaborations, ranging from popular game titles to esport events, showcasing their blend of innovation and pop culture awareness.
  4. Global Expansion: From its roots in Singapore, Secretlab began a methodical global expansion, first securing a footing in the U.S. and U.K., followed by further penetration into European, Australian, and Asian markets. Each expansion wasn’t merely about selling chairs but adapting to the unique demands of local gaming communities.
  5. Innovations in Comfort: The introduction of their Cold-Cure Foam technology was another breakthrough. It emphasized their relentless pursuit of gamer comfort, ensuring optimal support during extended gaming sessions.
  6. Community Engagement: Recognizing the value of community, Secretlab initiated various partnerships with esport tournaments, gaming conventions, and influencers. Their visible presence in major gaming events solidified their reputation as an industry staple.
  7. Diversification of Product Line: In tune with changing market demands, Secretlab expanded their offerings beyond chairs. Their MAGNUS Metal Desk, for instance, showcased their holistic approach to gaming ergonomics and aesthetics.
  8. Customer-Centric Iterations: True to their ethos of continuous improvement, Secretlab frequently updated their product lines based on customer feedback. The differences between the Titan 2020 and the Titan EVO 2022, for example, were emblematic of their commitment to evolving with their user base.

Each of these milestones wasn’t just a notch in Secretlab’s belt but a testament to their dynamic adaptation in a rapidly changing industry. As the gaming landscape transformed, so did Secretlab, ensuring they were always at the forefront of both innovation and consumer needs.

Innovations and USPs

At the core of Secretlab’s success is their relentless drive to innovate, ensuring their products aren’t just meeting but setting industry standards. Here are some areas where they truly broke the mold:

  1. Material Mastery:
    • PRIME™ 2.0 PU Leather: As previously mentioned, this proprietary blend of polyurethane leather set new benchmarks in terms of durability, resistance to peeling, and overall comfort.
    • SoftWeave Fabric: Understanding that gamers have varied preferences, Secretlab introduced their signature SoftWeave fabric, offering a different tactile experience while retaining the durability synonymous with their brand.
  2. Ergonomic Excellence:
    • 4D Armrests: Their adjustable armrests are more than just about height. They offer a 4D adjustment capability—left/right, forward/backward, up/down, and even angular rotations, catering to a user’s specific comfort needs.
    • Integrated Lumbar Support: Especially prevalent in the TITAN series, this feature allows users to tweak lumbar support levels without needing an additional cushion.
  3. Adaptive Design: Secretlab chairs are known for their balance of aesthetics and function. Their designs are stylish, yet never at the expense of comfort or utility. They cater to both the casual gamer and the professional with sleek, unobtrusive designs.
  4. Holistic Gaming Environment: Recognizing that a gamer’s setup isn’t complete with just a chair, Secretlab ventured into creating desks, like the MAGNUS Metal Desk, that complement their chairs, both in terms of design and function.
  5. Community Collaboration: From game-themed chairs (World of Warcraft, Cyberpunk 2077, etc.) to esports partnerships, Secretlab has its finger on the pulse of what the gaming community cherishes.
  6. Sustainability: In a world increasingly conscious of ecological impacts, Secretlab has taken strides to ensure their products are environmentally friendly. Their NAPA leather series, for example, is made from genuine, responsibly-sourced leather.
  7. Customer Feedback Loop: Secretlab’s iterative approach to product development, where they actively incorporate customer feedback into newer models, ensures they remain ahead of user needs and market trends.
  8. Extended Warranty and Support: Offering extended warranty options and stellar post-purchase support underscores Secretlab’s confidence in its products and commitment to its customers.
  9. Customization and Variety: With a range of models, materials, and designs, Secretlab caters to a diverse clientele, ensuring there’s a chair for every type of gamer.

Each of these innovations and USPs underlines Secretlab’s primary mission: to enhance the gaming experience. Their approach isn’t just about selling chairs; it’s about creating an ecosystem where comfort, style, and performance coalesce seamlessly.

Market Expansion

Growth is the lifeblood of any startup, but for Secretlab, expansion wasn’t merely about numbers; it was a strategic tapestry, meticulously woven over the years. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how Secretlab effectively expanded its market presence:

  1. Starting Local, Thinking Global: Founded in Singapore, Secretlab first conquered its local market. This initial success provided the foundation for a larger vision: to become a globally recognized brand. But global aspirations required a measured, systematic approach.
  2. Identifying Key Markets: Instead of a blanket expansion, Secretlab meticulously researched potential markets. They looked at metrics such as the size of the gaming community, purchasing power, and potential gaps in the gaming chair segment. This led to initial expansions in major gaming hubs like the U.S., U.K., and other parts of Europe.
  3. Adapting to Local Tastes and Preferences: Secretlab understood that a one-size-fits-all strategy wouldn’t work. Each market has its unique tastes, preferences, and ergonomic needs. The brand took time to customize its offerings, ensuring they resonated with local gamers.
  4. Building Local Partnerships: Expansion is not just about selling products; it’s about creating a presence. To this end, Secretlab fostered partnerships with local gaming events, tournaments, and influencers. This grassroots approach helped them gain the trust of new audiences.
  5. Ensuring Quality Across Borders: As they expanded, maintaining consistent product quality was paramount. Secretlab invested in rigorous quality control measures, ensuring that a chair bought in Germany was as impeccable as one purchased in Singapore.
  6. Customer Support and Post-Purchase Experience: Secretlab emphasized establishing robust customer support systems in every new market. They ensured that any post-purchase queries, issues, or feedback were addressed promptly and efficiently, leading to positive word-of-mouth and brand loyalty.
  7. Iterative Feedback: Entering a new market invariably came with lessons. Secretlab maintained a keen feedback loop, learning from each market’s unique challenges and iterating their strategies accordingly.
  8. Leveraging E-commerce: As a modern brand catering to a digital-savvy audience, Secretlab skillfully used e-commerce platforms to reach wider audiences. They optimized their online storefronts for different regions, offering localized payment options, shipping solutions, and promotions.
  9. Staying Ahead with Market Research: Market expansion is an ongoing journey. Secretlab continuously monitors global gaming trends, identifying emerging markets, and assessing opportunities for further growth.
  10. Engaging in Local CSR Initiatives: Corporate Social Responsibility became an integral part of Secretlab’s expansion strategy. By engaging in local community initiatives and sustainable practices, they positioned themselves not just as a commercial entity, but as a brand that cares.

By marrying data-driven strategies with a genuine understanding of local gaming cultures, Secretlab turned market expansion into an art form, ensuring they were not just another brand in the market but a valued member of the global gaming community.

Customer Reception and Feedback

At the heart of Secretlab’s success is its unwavering focus on customer satisfaction. From the start, they placed their clientele at the center of their operations, and this orientation played a pivotal role in shaping their trajectory.

  1. Listening to the Ground: For Secretlab, feedback wasn’t just a formality; it was an essential component of product development. They actively solicited reviews and insights from their customers, both through online platforms and post-purchase surveys.
  2. Addressing Concerns Proactively: While Secretlab chairs received predominantly positive reviews, the brand did not shy away from addressing concerns. Whether it was a shipment delay, a material fault, or an assembly issue, they ensured swift resolutions, often going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.
  3. Iterative Product Development: The feedback loop was directly tied to their product development strategy. Insights from customers led to tangible modifications in subsequent models. This approach was evident in the iterations from Titan 2020 to the Titan EVO 2022, which saw enhancements influenced by user feedback.
  4. Engaging with the Community: Secretlab actively participated in gaming forums, Reddit discussions, and other platforms where gamers congregated. By directly interacting with their audience, they not only addressed questions but also gained invaluable insights into evolving user preferences.
  5. Highlighting Testimonials: Satisfied customers became brand advocates. Secretlab showcased testimonials prominently, not only as a marketing tool but also as an affirmation of their commitment to quality and comfort.
  6. Catering to a Diverse Demographic: Feedback revealed a wide demographic range among Secretlab users, from professional gamers to remote workers. Recognizing this diversity, the brand ensured that their chairs catered to a spectrum of needs, from marathon gaming sessions to long workdays.
  7. Rewarding Loyalty: Repeat customers and those who referred others were acknowledged and rewarded. This fostered a sense of community and loyalty, turning customers into long-term brand ambassadors.
  8. Staying Adaptive: The digital age means that feedback is instantaneous. Whether through social media mentions, direct emails, or online reviews, Secretlab remained adaptive, often responding in real-time to ensure their clientele felt heard and valued.
  9. Learning from Criticism: Not all feedback was glowing, but Secretlab saw criticism as an opportunity for growth. By addressing negative reviews constructively and taking actionable steps, they turned potential setbacks into learning experiences.
  10. Feedback-Driven Innovations: Many of Secretlab’s notable features, like the 4D armrests or the SoftWeave fabric, were direct outcomes of user feedback. By staying attuned to their customers’ evolving needs, they ensured their product line remained cutting-edge.

By prioritizing customer feedback, Secretlab transformed their user base from passive consumers to active participants in the brand’s evolution. This symbiotic relationship has been fundamental in establishing Secretlab as a trusted name in the gaming industry.


In the rapidly evolving landscape of gaming peripherals, Secretlab has etched an indelible mark. What began as a modest startup in Singapore has, through a combination of strategic vision, relentless innovation, and an unwavering commitment to customer experience, transformed into a global phenomenon that has redefined the standards of gaming chairs.

One cannot discuss their success without acknowledging the brand’s ability to constantly adapt. In the face of challenges, from initial market scepticism to the rigours of global expansion, Secretlab didn’t merely endure; they evolved. Their products aren’t just reflections of quality craftsmanship but are also tangible outcomes of an attentive ear to the gaming community’s feedback.

Furthermore, Secretlab’s success isn’t confined to sales figures or market dominance. The brand has managed to weave itself into the very fabric of the global gaming narrative. Their collaborations, ranging from game-themed chairs to partnerships with esports juggernauts, underscore their deep-rooted commitment to the community they serve. This isn’t a brand that merely sells to gamers; it’s a brand that grows with them.

Looking ahead, the horizon is ripe with opportunities. As gaming continues its march from a niche hobby to a central pillar of global entertainment, Secretlab is poised to ride this wave, not just as a vendor but as a visionary. Whether it’s harnessing technological advancements, spearheading sustainability in manufacturing, or simply crafting the next iconic gaming chair, Secretlab’s journey is far from over.

In wrapping up, Secretlab stands as a testament to what is possible when entrepreneurial spirit meets unwavering quality standards, and when business acumen is complemented by genuine community engagement. It’s a brand story that inspires, a product line that impresses, and most importantly, a legacy that’s still in the making.

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The owner of started writing about technology news and trends back in 2014. As an author and guest author of numerous technology magazines, he tries to transfer his experience in this area to the readers in an easily understandable and helpful way.

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