SINGAPORE May 8 Southeast Asia-focused
e-commerce startup Garena Interactive Holding Ltd renamed itself
Sea Ltd on Monday and said it had raised $550 million to expand
in key markets such as Indonesia.
The fundraising by Sea comes amid a flurry of similar deals
in the region as competition for a share of Southeast Asia's
biggest e-commerce market Indonesia intensifies, with more
people in the 250-million strong nation gaining access to the
Sea, which also provides digital payments and online gaming
services, said most of the new capital would be used to grow its
e-commerce platform Shopee.
Shopee has more than doubled in size in the past nine months
and now has an annualised gross merchandise value of over $3.0
billion, it added.
Investors in Sea's fundraising round included Farallon
Capital Management, Hillhouse Capital, Indonesia's GDP Venture
and Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc, the
company said. An investment arm of Taiwanese food conglomerate
Uni-President Enterprises Corp and Cathay Financial
Holding Co also took part.
Sea did not disclose its current valuation, but was valued
at $3.75 billion in a March 2016 funding round.
In one of the biggest bets on e-commerce in Southeast Asia,
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd bought a controlling stake in
Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group for about $1
billion last year.
Indonesia's online marketplace Tokopedia is also in talks
with China's JD.Com Inc for possible fund raising, a
source familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.
Sea counts SeaTown Holdings, a subsidiary of Singapore state
investor Temasek Holdings, and Malaysian state investor
Khazanah Nasional Bhd among its investors. It also
plans a $1 billion initial public offering, IFR, a Thomson
Reuters publication, reported in January.
On Monday, Sea also named former Singapore foreign minister
George Yeo, former Indonesia minister of trade Mari Pangestu and
Pandu Sjahrir, a director of Indonesian coal PT Toba Bara
Sejahtra Tbk, as senior advisors.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Miral Fahmy)