Sea eyes raising funds after loss


Thu, May 17, 2018 - Page 10

Sea Ltd, operator of Southeast Asia’s biggest gaming platform, said it might raise funds to strengthen its balance sheet after its quarterly loss tripled on rising investment at mobile shopping unit Shopee.

The Singapore-based gaming and e-commerce company said its net loss during the three months ended March was US$215.6 million, compared with US$73.1 million a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 65 percent to US$155 million, it said.

Sea, which initially modeled itself on Chinese giant Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), has struggled since an initial public offering in October last year amid widening losses.

The company has invested heavily to expand beyond games into payments and e-commerce, where it faces entrenched competition from the likes of Lazada Group, which is controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴).

The stock on Tuesday closed in New York at US$10.64, 29 percent less than its initial public offering price of US$15.

“When you look at the longer term, there are many options for us to strengthen our balance sheet and unlock greater value for our shareholders,” chief strategy officer Alan Hellawell said during a conference call. “These could include raising money at the Shopee level. We remain totally open-minded about fundraising.”

Sea raised its forecast for this year’s total adjusted revenue to be between US$780 million and US$820 million, up from a previously estimated range of between US$730 million and US$770 million.

The measure considers changes in deferred revenue at digital entertainment unit Garena, as well as other factors.

Sea also raised its full-year forecast for e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV). It now expects Shopee’s GMV to reach between US$8.2 billion and US$8.7 billion this year.

Sea had previously forecast US$7.5 billion to US$8 billion.

Shopee’s first-quarter GMV was US$1.9 billion, up from US$648.3 million a year earlier.