Sea Group, the parent company of Shopee and Garena, continues to grow strongly in a challenging business environment. According to Sea’s first-quarter results, total adjusted revenue reached USD 913.9 million, compared to USD 578.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. The firm also recorded a negative EBITDA at USD (69.9) million, higher than the USD (32.0) million in the same period last year.
The gross merchandise value (GMV) of Sea’s e-commerce arm Shopee accelerated 74.3% year-on-year reaching USD 6.2 billion in the first quarter, compared to a 64.8% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2019. Shopee recorded total gross orders of 429.8 million, up 111.2% year-on-year from 203.5 million for the first quarter of 2019. For Shopee, adjusted EBITDA was USD (260) million, an increase from USD (235.3) million for the first quarter in the year before. Meanwhile, Shopee’s adjusted EBITDA loss per order decreased by 48.3% to USD 0.60, compared to USD 1.16 for the first quarter of 2019.
Despite tough competition with local e-commerce players, Shopee is evolving positively in Indonesia with 185 million orders in the first quarter, or a daily average of over 2 million orders, which translates into an increase of 122.6% year-on-year. According to Sea, which cited data from App Annie, the e-commerce platform ranked first in Indonesia by average monthly active users, downloads, and total time spent on Android, in the shopping category. Overall, Shopee also ranked number one in Southeast Asia and Taiwan in the same category after the first quarter of this year.
Sea’s digital entertainment division Garena is also showing encouraging results, with USD 512.4 million of adjusted revenue—a jump from USD 393.3 million in the first quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 32.2% year-on-year, from USD 225.8 million in the first quarter of 2019 to USD 298.4 million now.
Garena reported 402.1 million of active users in the quarter, up from 271.6 million in the first quarter of last year. Its quarterly paying users grew by 72.5% year-on-year to 35.7 million, accounting for 8.9% of QAUs for the first quarter of 2020. That’s an increase from 7.6% for the same period in 2019.
Garena’s proprietary battle royale game Free Fire hit a new record high of 80 million peak daily users, according to data from App Annie. It was the highest-grossing mobile game in Latin America and in Southeast Asia in the first quarter of 2020.
Sea’s chairman and group CEO Forrest Li said in a statement that Sea has been stress-tested by the COVID-19 crisis. Li said that the company’s robust performance through the first quarter and beyond is showing strength and resilience. “We believe this will, in the long run, enable us to capture the further accelerated and expanded growth opportunities presented to all of our core businesses across our markets,” he said.
The company also presented results for SeaMoney, its digital financial services brand. SeaMoney recorded over USD 1 billion of total payment volume and its quarterly paying users have surpassed 10 million in this quarter. More than 40% of Shopee’s gross orders in Indonesia were paid with the mobile wallet service ShopeePay.
Sea continues to expand online and offline partnerships for its mobile wallet. In March 2020, SeaMoney teamed up with Google to become a payment option for the Google Play Store in Thailand.