Garena, SE Asia’s most valuable startup, raises funding from SeaTown, GDP Venture, Mistletoe

Garena, a Singapore-based Internet company, said it has raised additional funding from SeaTown Holdings International, subsidiary of  Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd., Global Digital Prima (GDP) Venture, and Mistletoe.

The company has not disclosed the amount it has raised from these high-profile investors.

GDP Venture is founded by Martin Hartono, the son of Indonesia’s richest man, while Mistletoe is the investment firm of Taizo Son, the Japan-based founder of GungHo Entertainment, who is also the younger brother of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

Garena also announced that Taizo Son, the president and CEO of Mistletoe, and Archana Parekh, the portfolio manager at SeaTown, have joined its Advisory Board of respected industry and regional experts.

The investment comes after it raised a $170 million series D in the end of March this year. Garena, which has raised over $172 million in venture capital since its establishment in 2009, is reportedly Southeast Asia’s largest unicorn, privately valued at $3.75 billion.

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

The company offers interactive digital content, eSports, e-commerce and online payment products and services. It recently launched two complementary consumer offerings: Shopee, a mobile-centric online marketplace; and AirPay, a Southeast Asian financial services platform.

Earlier this year, in an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, Garena’s Group President Nick Nash had indicated that the the company may seek an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States sometime in the future.

“There are a lot of things about the markets that are out of our control. But at the end of the day, great companies can always go public and our goal is to build a great company. An IPO is a prudent thing to consider to build a sustainable business. At some point, we will consider going down that path, but at the time that makes sense for the business and the shareholders. Not a single one of our shareholders have asked us to go public; they’ve asked us to take our time,” Nash had said in his interaction with DEALSTREETASIA.

Garena has reportedly achieved compound annual growth of more than 95 per cent over the past five years to over $300 million in gross revenue in 2015.

Singapore-headquartered SeaTown is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings and was established in 2009 as an investment manager focused on absolute returns.

Indonesia-based GDP Venture was founded in 2010 as a venture builder focused on digital communities, media, commerce, and solution companies.

Japan-based Mistletoe, founded in 2013, is an organisation committed to social impact through investing, co-founding startups, and nurturing ecosystems.

Also read:

Exclusive: Singapore’s gaming firm Garena mulls IPO in US

Garena raises $170m in Series D led by Malaysian state fund Khazanah

Garena’s Shopee sees strategic long term partnership with Pos Malaysia

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.

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.