Temasek unit among new wave of investors in Garena

Temasek unit among new wave of investors in Garena

Jude Chan
05/09/16, 05:41 pm

SINGAPORE (Sept 5): Temasek Holdings’ wholly-owned subsidiary, SeaTown Holdings International, has joined Indonesia-based Global Digital Prima Venture and Japan-based Mistletoe in a new investment in Southeast Asia’s largest start-up, Garena Interactive Holding.

“We are proud to welcome three of Asia’s most respected investment firms to Garena,” says Forrest Li, Garena’s founder, chairman and Group CEO.  “Their insights and connectivity across the region will support and accelerate our mission to ‘connect the dots’ for our customers.”

In a statement on Monday, Garena did not reveal the investment amounts.

The trio are joining a global institutional investor base for Garena that already includes General Atlantic and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan from North America, Khazanah Nasional and Keytone Ventures from Asia, and Skype co-founder Toivo Annus from Europe.

Temasek’s SeaTown was established in 2009 as an investment manager focused on absolute returns.

GDP Venture was founded by Martin B. Hartono in 2010 and is a venture builder focusing on digital communities, media, commerce, and solution companies.

Mistletoe was founded by serial entrepreneur and investor Taizo Son in 2013 and is an organisation committed to social impact through investing, co-founding start-ups, and nurturing ecosystems.

Founded in 2009, Garena has achieved compound annual revenue growth of more than 95% over the past five years to over US$300 million ($407 million) of gross revenue in 2015.

Today, the Singapore-based start-up is the market leader in interactive digital content and eSports in Greater Southeast Asia – comprising Asean and Taiwan – and valued at more than US$3.75 billion.

Garena has also launched two complementary consumer offerings which are turning into the region’s fastest growing businesses. Shopee is a mobile-centric online marketplace, while AirPay is a uniquely Southeast Asian financial services platform.

“Garena has built three exceptional businesses with strong strategic and operational synergies between them,” said Hartono. “Garena is already the leading interactive digital content and eSports platform in the region, and we have a high degree of conviction that Shopee and AirPay will quickly emerge as the clear regional market leaders in their respective categories.”

 (See Forrest Gump-inspired startup Garena running toward an IPO)

In addition to the new wave of investments, Garena also announced on Monday that Mistletoe’s President and CEO Son as well as SeaTown’s Portfolio Manager Archana Parekh have joined its advisory board of respected industry and regional experts.

“It’s crucial for the world to have companies which create large positive impacts in diverse fields to brighten the prospect of our future. I am very proud of the work Garena is doing and look forward to many years of partnership,” says Son.

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