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Garena rebrands itself as Sea after raising US$550 million in a new round of funding

By Koh Wanzi - on 8 May 2017, 2:37pm

Garena rebrands itself as Sea after raising US$550 million in a new round of funding

Image Source: Sea

Garena, one of Southeast Asia’s most valuable startups, has secured US$550 million in new funding and gotten a new name. The Singapore-based company is now called Sea Ltd., a reflection of its global ambitions and – surprise, surprise – because SEA is also short for Southeast Asia.

The rebranding exercise is part of Sea’s efforts to focus on e-commerce in Indonesia, where one of its biggest competitors is the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The latter acquired Lazada for US$1 billion last year in a bit to compete with businesses like MatahariMall and Tokopedia, two of Indonesia’s largest online marketplaces. The competition is further heightened by the fact that one of Sea's investors is Tencent, one of Alibaba's biggest rivals in China. 

Sea intends to funnel the majority of its new funds into the expansion of Shopee, a Carousell-like online marketplace where consumers buy and sell to each other, in Indonesia. The interest in the country is partly to be expected, given that it is one of Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest-growing e-commerce markets.

The company’s current businesses also include its online gaming platform Garena and a digital payments service called AirPay. Most of you probably know of the company because of the aforementioned games platform, and its games business will fortunately retain the Garena name.

In January, reports surfaced that Sea, then still known as Garena, had picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to handle a planned initial public offering (IPO) that could raise as much as US$1 billion.

On top of that, Sea announced the appointment of three advisers to help with its Indonesian expansion plans, one of whom is former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo.

Source: Bloomberg