This company has its game face on for new frontiers

This company has its game face on for new frontiers

Trinity Chua
18/11/16, 05:14 pm

SINGAPORE (Nov 18): This year, a newcomer joins the ranks to capture a slice of the online shopping pie: Shopee, powered by Southeast Asia’s most valuable start-up, Garena.

There are about 1.5 million registered sellers on Shopee, while 70% of the user base comprises repeat customers. Garena recently raised US$170 million in Series D funding to help Shopee grow in Southeast Asia. During its inaugural 9.9 Mobile Shopping Day sale this year, orders increased fivefold.

But the rise of flash sales and online shopping also signals an underlying problem in Southeast Asia: Many e-commerce platforms have not started to think about profits. Meanwhile, retailers and logistics partners are starting to feel the pinch from lower margins as competition among marketplaces grows.

In 2014, Garena started an e-payment services firm, AirPay, as an attempt to transform itself from a gaming arena to an internet consumer giant.

But as what is similarly happening in the e-commerce sector, e-payment start-ups are facing pressures. Competition is brutal as it does not take much to start an e-payment company.

Although both Shopee and AirPay have seen some early success, the cards are still up in the air on whether Garena will be able to replicate the same long-term success it has had with games amid the stiff competition and razor-thin margins in the e-commerce and e-payment spaces.

Is Singapore’s most valuable start-up likely to come out ahead in these industries? Find out in our cover story “Growing beyond games”, in this week’s issue of The Edge Singapore (Issue 755, Week of Nov 21), available at newsstands now.

Hyflux gets non-binding letter of intent from China suitor

SINGAPORE (June 15): Hyflux has received another non-binding letter of intent (LOI) for a potential investment in the group by an investor based in China. In a Friday night filing, Hyflux says the investor is a subsidiary of a state-owned enterprise in the industrial field which works on a global scale to provide comprehensive power services. “Other fields of expertise of the investor’s holding company include wind and solar energy solutions, nuclear industry, medical technology and agriculture,” says Hyflux. See: Rags-to-riches tale goes sour for Hyflux founder Olivia Lum Se....

Hong Kong suspends China extradition bill

(June 15): Hong Kong’s leader suspended efforts to pass a bill allowing extraditions to China, in a dramatic reversal that she said was necessary to restore order in the Asian financial hub and avoid further violence and mass protests. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, announced the legislative “pause” at a news conference Saturday, even as activists asked hundreds of thousands of residents who marched in protest last weekend to return to the streets and demand her resignation. Lam acknowledged that debate had shattered a period of relative calm in the former British colony, ....

Chip Eng Seng in joint $47.5 mil investment of China distressed property company

SINGAPORE (June 15): Chip Eng Seng and controlling shareholder Haiyi Investment are jointly investing RMB240 million ($47.5 million) in a distressed property company based in Taicang city in Jiangsu province, China. Chip Eng Seng says the investment will enable the project company to discharge its outstanding liabilities such that its assets will be unsealed and restart a project involving the development and construction of a residential development on a land area of 38,000 sqm, with a gross floor area of 111,111 sqm. The project company, effective controlled by local shareholder Ren We....