(May 8): Garena has rebranded as Sea after Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup secured US$550 million ($772 million) in funds to step up a battle with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and other players in Indonesia.
The eight-year-old startup backed by Tencent Holdings landed a clutch of new investors in its latest funding round, including some of the region’s wealthiest families. They include GDP Venture, led by Martin Hartono, the son of Indonesia’s richest man, and JG Summit Holdings Inc., founded by Philippine billionaire John Gokongwei.
The shopping and online games company is staking out a spot as competition in Southeast Asian e-commerce intensifies, particularly in the largely untapped market of Indonesia. Alibaba Group Holding has expanded its online marketplace since buying control of Lazada Group SA in 2016, while JD.com Inc. is said to be investing in domestic player Tokopedia to boost its business in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.