Singapore tech firm Sea raises S$780m in fresh funds to bolster e-commerce bet

Singapore tech firm Sea raises S$780m in fresh funds to bolster e-commerce bet

The US-listed company, formerly known as Garena, expects to use the funds to expand its business and support the growth of its e-commerce platform Shopee.

Garena SEA
Garena's logo now bears its new name Sea. (Photo: www.seagroup.com)

SINGAPORE: Singapore technology company Sea on Tuesday (Jun 19) announced that it has raised US$575 million (S$780.2 million) in fresh funds from its convertible notes offering, which it will use to grow its e-commerce platform Shopee.

The Singapore-headquartered company, formerly known as Garena, said it had to increase the offering size from an initial US$400 million to US$500 million to “address strong investor demand”. The 15 per cent “greenshoe” option was also fully exercised to bring up the total amount raised to US$575 million, it added.

Sea said it intends to use the proceeds for business expansion and other general corporate purposes, including to support the growth of Shopee.

“With this additional capital further bolstering our balance sheet, we are in an excellent position to continue to capture the significant growth opportunity ahead of us, particularly in the highly promising e-commerce sector where Shopee is already a regional leader,” said Sea chairman and group CEO Forrest Li.

He added that Shopee is scaling “ahead of our already ambitious expectations”, and that the company intends to continue investing in the platform and bring new services.

Shopee recorded a gross merchandise value (GMV) of US$1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, which is a 199.5 per cent year-on-year increase, the company said.

It had recently raised guidance for e-commerce GMV for the full year of 2018 to between US$8.2 billion and US$8.7 billion - representing 99.4 per cent to 111.5 per cent growth from the previous year, it added.

Sea, which made its mark in the online gaming scene, raised US$884 million in its initial public offering in New York in October last year. It reported a net loss of US$216.2 million for its first quarter this year, nearly triple the loss it logged in the same period last year.

Source: CNA/kk(aj)

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