SEA group’s Shopee scales up Brazil ops, evaluates Latam potential

The Shopee app, Garena Interactive Holding Ltd.'s mobile marketplace, is displayed on the smartphone of an employee at the company's headquarters in Singapore, on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Shopee, the e-commerce arm of Southeast Asia’s SEA Ltd, is scaling up its operations in Brazil and evaluating the long-term potential of Latin American markets, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Shopee, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia according to market researchers, launched a small presence in Brazil in late 2019 as a pilot initiative of its cross-border team.

The company is now growing its presence and moving executives from Southeast Asia to Brazil, said the sources who were briefed on the matter but declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to media.

The firm declined a Reuters request for comment.

The Singapore-headquartered technology group’s shares surged more than 400% in 2020, taking its market capitalisation to $120 billion. It raised close to $3 billion in a stock offering last month.

On Linkedin, Shopee is currently recruiting for over three dozen positions in Brazil. Pine Kyaw, formerly country managing director for Shopee‘s high-growth Vietnam unit, is listed on the job platform as having become Shopee Brazil country head. Kyaw could not be reached for comment.

SEA Chief Corporate Office Yanjun Wang told an investor call in November that Shopee Brazil, while cross-border driven, was now being used by local sellers.

According to analytics firm App Annie, Shopee Brazil‘s app had more monthly active users in December than Amazon’s unit in the country, although it remained significantly behind large regional players, such as Argentinian e-commerce market leader Mercado Libre.

The sources said Shopee is assessing the potential of other Latin American markets if Brazil proves successful, but has so far made no definite expansion plans.

One source noted that Mexico was of particular interest.

Market research company eMarketer estimates e-commerce sales will rise 36.7% this year in Latin America to US$84.9 billion.

Reuters

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.