Forrest Li

A new billionaire emerges from Singapore gaming powerhouse Sea
(March 1): Free Fire is a world unto itself. More than 40 million players log on each day to find weapons and battle it out till one character’s left standing. It’s Sea’s marquee hit, a virtual landscape housing more people than the American population and the prime reason Chinese-born founder Forrest Li is climbing the real world’s wealth rankings. The 41-year-old entrepreneur owns ...
Sea raises US$575 mil in convertible notes offering
SINGAPORE (June 19): Sea has completed its previously announced offering of US$575 million ($777 million) aggregate principal amount of 2.25% convertible senior notes due 2023. See: Sea mulls raising funds for e-commerce as quarterly loss triples To address investor demand, the company increased the offering size from an initial US$400 million to US$500 million, and a full exercise of a 15% ...
Singapore's entrepreneurial scene looks less boring with spate of megadeals
SINGAPORE (Nov 30): Back in 2002, as the city-state was emerging from its worst recession since 1964, the government was getting impatient over the economy's disproportionate reliance on multinationals and a handful of globally competitive state-backed firms like Singapore Airlines. A panel on "entrepreneurship and internationalisation" noted that only 5% of Singaporeans ran their own ...
Garena rebrands as Sea after raising US$550 mil in new funding
(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 ...
Growing beyond games
Garena is expanding into e-payments and e-commerce. Both industries are well populated with players that do not seem interested in making money. Is Singapore’s most valuable start-up likely to come out ahead? Singles’ Day sales in China are running out of steam after eight years. The oneday shopping bonanza saw growth slow to a modest 32% this year, compared with 60% in 2015. But consumer ...
Temasek unit among new wave of investors in Garena
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, ...
Game publisher Garena secures its base in Southeast Asia; gets ready to 'level up'
SINGAPORE (July 23): Singapore stert-ups base themselves in Singapore for a variety of reasons. The usual checklist includes ease of doing business, easy access to growing regional markets and the availability of funding from various investors. For Forrest Li, the China-born and Stanford-educated founder and CEO of game publishing company, Garena, there was another critical reason: his ...