Garena scores $170m funding from Malaysian government

Garena, a Singapore-based company engaged in the gaming, internet, and mobile industries, today announced it closed a US$170 million series D funding round, led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Khazanah is the strategic investment fund of the Malaysian government. It joins Garena’s existing list of investors, including General Atlantic LLC, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and Keytone Ventures. This new round brings Garena’s total funding to over US$500 million, the company says in a statement.

“Khazanah’s experience in building leading businesses will help us strengthen our leadership position across our digital content, ecommerce, and payment platforms and advance our global mission of ‘connecting the dots,’” notes Garena’s founder and CEO Forrest Li. Founded in 2009, Garena has rapidly expanded into multiple product lines. It started off creating software that linked people up for multiplayer games, then ventured into game distribution. In 2010, it launched Garena+, an online platform for people to meet, chat and play games with one another. More recently, it unveiled other offerings such as payment network AirPay and mobile-centric online marketplace Shopee.

Garena+ now has over 45 million users, who engage in the platform for 1.6 billion hours a month. On the other hand, AirPay has achieved an annual gross transaction value run-rate of over US$330 million, while Shopee has grown to a gross merchandise value run-rate of more than US$350 million in just 10 months from its June 2015 launch.

“With this new round of capital, we have no doubt that Shopee and AirPay will be the leading offerings in the market,” adds Li. Overall, Garena booked US$300 million in gross revenue as of 2015 — representing a compound annual revenue growth of about 90 percent over the past five years, its statement reads.