Sea, the company formerly known as Garena, has filed for an initial public offering on the New York stock exchange. The company is looking to raise some $1 billion (about RM4.2 billion) for continued expansion plans.
Sea currently owns the Garena gaming platform, from which it draws most of its revenue. Most of that revenue is then being used to subsidise its other online businesses: Shopee and AirPay.
Both Shopee and AirPay are only available in a limited number of markets in Southeast Asia where they face increasing competition from much bigger foreign companies. Especially from Lazada, which is now backed by the Chinese giant Alibaba. Amazon has also begun operations in Singapore, and is rumoured to have plans for rapid expansion across the region.
The IPO does not mean that Sea is planning to start operations in America, but is rather an offer for investors to bring capital into Southeast Asia. That said, this is only the second attempted IPO from the region on the US stock market. MOL had earlier tried raising funds from the US, and that only lasted two years before being removed from trading.