Sea: meet the company that created Shopee and the game Free Fire

THE shopee is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. According to a recent survey by Panorama Mobile Time/Opinion Box, it is the leader when it comes to buying and selling via smartphones and tablets in Brazil, ranked second by monthly average of active users and was the most downloaded app globally in category “shopping” in 2021. However, not everyone knows where and came from and who created Shopee.

E-commerce is the responsibility of Sea organization that currently works in three segments: gaming with the Garena, fintech as Sea Money and, of course, online shopping with Shopee. It is a company founded in 2009, based in Singapore, which started its work with lanhouse software. Some time later, she gained the nickname of “Southeast Asian Tencent” for distributing the games giant’s titles in the region.

Sea operates mainly in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. Shoppe was launched in 2015 and according to its official page, it is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.

Sea Ltd logo.  (Sea Ltd.)Sea Ltd logo. (Sea Ltd.)Source: Sea Ltd.

Another very important point in the company’s history is the launch of its first mobile game, which many should know about in Brazil: Free Fire. The game won approx. 80 million users active daily in more than 130 markets, in addition to achieving 1 billion downloads on Google Play.

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Between 2019 and 2020, Sea drew a lot of attention for becoming the world’s best performing large cap player. It entered the New York Stock Exchange in 2017, backed by Tencent, and had a difficult first year. But shortly after the values ​​rose astronomically, surpassing its competitors.

were more than 880% over a period of 18 months. Its revenue jumped 163% in 2019 to $2.2 billion, and around the same time its market cap rose to $65 billion, surpassing DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and PT Bank Central Asia. Shares jumped 979% between January 2019 and July 2020, from $11.12 to $122.20.

According to its CEO, Forrest Li, the pandemic, which was just beginning, increased demand for mobile games and for its online shopping platform at the time. According to a survey of the E-commerce Report in Brazil, by the conversionSea’s online retail business grew by 1954% between March 2020 and March 2021.

Image credit: Shutterstock.Image credit: Shutterstock.Source: Shutterstock

It is curious to comment that, according to a publication by Estadão in 2021, Sea no net profit yet in recent years, and its e-commerce EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is also negative. However, the prospects are positive, as experts are betting on the area of ​​entertainment and online shopping to strengthen Sea.

Ana Paula Tozzi, CEO of AGR, a consulting and business management company, says: “We believe that Shopee is on the path to profitability and we are convinced that this is a model that is here to stay. Of course, it’s easier to be skeptical because of the jump in roles, but the bet is that the retailer’s value will be positive. It’s not an obvious action, it’s a long-term action.”

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