Sea Group was founded in 2009 in Singapore, and currently, its operations have expanded beyond Singapore to much of Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, growing its presence in a region that is set to triple the size of its internet economy between 2019 and 2025, according to a report jointly published by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co.
The company operates three business units: Garena for games, Shopee for online shopping, and SeaMoney in fintech. Garena is the largest game developer and publisher in Southeast Asia, responsible for publishing hit game League of Legends in the region. The firm has also created a hit with its own battle royale game Garena Free Fire, with over 100 million peak daily active users in Q2 of 2020.
In 2015, Sea Group launched e-commerce platform Shopee, which directly competes with Alibaba’s Lazada. In 2019, it overtook Lazada to become the most-used e-commerce platform in SEA. In Q2 2020, its gross merchandise volume (GMV) reached USD 8 billion, up 110% year-on-year.
Similar to WeChat Pay or Alipay in China, SeaMoney offers e-wallet services and other financial products, targeting the unbanked population of Southeast Asia. In this arena, it directly challenges companies like Grab, Gojek, Ovo, and MoMo.
So far, Garena has been the only unit of Sea Group to generate a profit, while overall, the firm is still burning cash to increase market share in various areas of competition. However, Sea Group’s big-ticket investors are patient.
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