The IPO could commence in 2018
Southeast Asia’s largest internet and mobile platform company, Garena, is reportedly going ahead with an initial public offering in the US that may see it raise US$1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal article published today.
It is in talks with several banks in Singapore this week to discuss the IPO. According to sources close to WSJ, the deal could commence in 2018. Garena is seeking to IPO in New York, but other details such as listing venue and total funds to be raised has not been finalised.
Founded in 2008 by Forrest Li, the Singaporean unicorn is currently valued at US$3.75 billion. Its current backers include Malaysian Government strategic investment fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), Canada pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, private-equity firm General Atlantic LLC, and Keytone Ventures.
Among Garena’s wide portfolio of products include AirPay, a payment platform that allows users to make payments for online games, telephone bills, utilities, and e-commerce transactions without the need for credit cards or bank accounts – a service sorely needed for the large swaths of unbanked internet users in Southeast Asia. It currently has 130,000 130,000 physical payment counters across the region.
Garena also rolled out its p2p e-commerce platform, Shopee, last year, a service seen as a rival to popular p2p marketplace, Carousell (birthed three years earlier). Just this month, Shopee announced US$1.8 billion in annualised gross merchandise volume (GMV or the total value of merchandise sold) over the last 12 months.
Image Credit: Garena
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