Forrest Li Becomes Singapore’s Richest Man Thanks To Sea Ltd’s Growth

These days, many of us often shop on platforms like Shopee and Lazada.

Due to their increasing appeal, these e-commerce sites have grown exponentially. Most recently, the shares of Sea Ltd, the holding company for Shopee and several other companies, surged.

With that, Forrest Li, the founder, chairman, and CEO of the company became Singapore’s richest man.

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The tech billionaire now has a net worth of S$26.6 billion (US$19.8 billion).

Forrest Li becomes richest man in Singapore

Forrest Li is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Sea Ltd. He was born in China but later became a Singapore citizen, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

On Tuesday (31 Aug), Bloomberg Billionaires Index named him Singapore’s richest person.

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He overtakes paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang who has a US$17.7 billion (S$23.7 billion) fortune.

With a net worth of US$19.8 billion (S$26.6 billion), he is ranked the world’s 101st richest person.

This comes as Sea Ltd’s shares rose a whopping 67% this year alone.

Sea Ltd is Southeast Asia’s most valuable company

Sea Ltd was founded by Forrest Li and his 2 partners, Gang Ye and David Chen in 2009.

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It is the holding company for Shopee, Garena, SeaMoney, and football club Lion City Sailors FC.

According to Bloomberg, Sea Ltd has fast become Southeast Asia’s most valuable company.

This is thanks to its expansion and venture into fintech with SeaMoney, beyond e-commerce and gaming offered by Shopee and Garena respectively.

SeaMoney is the company’s digital payments and financial services business.

In the 2nd quarter of this year, the total payments made using its mobile-wallet services rose more than US$4.1 billion, an increase of almost 150% from the previous year.

During this period, Sea Ltd’s revenue rose 159% to US$2.3 billion (S$3 billion).

However, its success is also largely driven by e-commerce platform Shopee — the 2nd most downloaded shopping app globally, as well as mobile game Garena Free Fire which exceeded 1 billion downloads on Google play.

Rapid growth of Sea Ltd throughout the pandemic

Despite the pandemic as well as the crash in Chinese technology stocks, Sea Ltd rapidly grew, reported The Motley Fool.

This is because its operations are largely based in Singapore, Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian countries.

Back in 2019, Shopee also opened their new regional headquarters here in Singapore.

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And the pandemic has only served to boost its growth in the gaming and e-commerce sector as many people are shopping and playing mobile games more.

Speaking about Sea Ltd’s prospects, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst said it continues to look positive.

This is especially as more people get used to the convenience offered by digital services and online platforms during the pandemic, reported SCMP.

Great to see home-grown companies thriving

Congratulations to Forrest Li for this monumental achievement.

Sea Ltd has indeed thrived in an uncertain market throughout these Covid-19 times.

Seeing home-grown companies expanding their presence internationally is encouraging, and we wish them continued success.

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Featured image adapted from Forbes.