Parent of Garena files for US$1bil IPO in US

NEW YORK: Sea Ltd, South-East Asia’s most valuable startup that’s known for its Garena gaming platform, filed for a US initial public offering.

The Singapore-based company, formerly called Garena, listed an offering size of US$1bil (RM4.2bil) in a filing on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Sea intends to use the proceeds from its sale of American depositary shares to fund business growth initiatives including user acquisition and content procurement.

The company was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Forrest Li, who is a Singaporean citizen, as an online gaming company in 2009. It has since branched out to add mobile shopping and payment services in South-East Asia.

The firm was valued at about US$3.75bil when it raised US$170mil in a fundraising round in March 2016.

With a 40% holding, Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd owns the biggest private stake in Sea, according to the filing. Li, who serves as chairman and group chief executive officer, is the next biggest holder at 20%.

The company posted a net loss of US$225mil on revenue of US$345.7mil last year, according to the filing. In 2015, Sea saw a net loss of US$107.3mil on revenue of US$292.1mil.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG are leading the offering. The company has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SE. — Bloomberg