Garena Gaming Platform Owner Aims to Raise $696 Million in IPO

Garena Gaming Platform Owner Aims to Raise $696 Million in IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Sea Ltd., Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup that’s known for its Garena gaming and shopping platform, aims to raise as much as $696 million in its U.S. initial public offering.

The Singapore-based company, formerly called Garena, is marketing 49.7 million American depositary shares for $12 to $14 apiece, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

Sea was founded by Chinese-born entrepreneur Forrest Li, now a Singapore citizen, as an online gaming company in 2009. It has since branched out to add mobile shopping and payment services in Southeast Asia. The firm was valued at about $3.75 billion when it raised $170 million in a fundraising round in March 2016. In May, Sea secured an additional $550 million in funding as competition in the region with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., with a 40 percent share, owns the biggest private stake in Sea, according to the company’s initial filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Li, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer, is the next biggest holder at 20 percent.

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

Sea plans to use the proceeds of the sale to grow its business by adding customers and acquiring content.

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

Li previously worked at Viacom Inc. and Corning Inc., and served as a member of Singapore’s 30-member Committee on the Future Economy to develop the nation’s future economic strategies between January 2016 and February 2017, according to the filing.

--With assistance from Yoolim Lee

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at, Michael Hytha