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Singapore Based Garena Rebrands As Sea, Raises $550 Mn To Expand In Indonesia

Singapore Based Garena Rebrands As Sea, Raises $550 Mn To Expand In Indonesia

Singapore-based Internet company Sea, formerly known as Garena has reportedly secured $550 Mn in funding from existing investors Tencent Holdings and others.

The round saw participation from GDP Venture, JG Summit Holdings, Farallon Capital Management, Hillhouse Capital, Cathay Financial Holding Co. and an investment arm of Taiwanese food company, Uni-President Enterprises.

The startup will use the latest funding to expand Shopee, its ecommerce marketplace in Indonesia, to compete with the Chinese ecommerce major Alibaba. Alibaba made its foray in the Indonesian market with the acquisition of Lazada in April 2016.

Launched in 2009 by Forrest Li, Sea currently operates three platforms across entertainment, ecommerce, and financial services. The company operates in seven major countries including Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

Its three verticals include:

Garena: It is a digital entertainment platform and offers consumers and global game developers a combination of localised game operations, payments, esports events, video streaming, content sharing, user chat, and online forums.

Shopee is an ecommerce marketplace which enables SMBs to connect with online customers, along with an integrated payment gateway and third-party logistics capabilities. As per its website, Shopee boasts of over $ 3 Bn annualised GMV since its launch in 2015.

Fintech platform AirPay  is an ewallet that operates via the mobile app AirPay.

As per a Bloomberg report, the company’s new name is an acronym for Southeast Asia, its chief market.

Additionally, the venture has also appointed three advisors to its Board to accelerate its growth in Indonesia, including former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo, former Indonesian trade minister Mari Pangestu and Pandu Sjahrir, Director, Indonesian coal producer PT Toba Bara Sejahtra Tbk.

The company was previously valued at $3.75 Bn, following a $170 million funding round in March from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund, and Tencent. The company has raised over $500 Mn to date. Its other investors include General Atlantic, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Keytone Ventures, and Skype co-founder Toivo Annus.

The company will primarily face competition from Tokopedia, MatahariMall, and BerryBenka in the Indonesian region.