Forrest Li, the co-founder of Sea Limited, a tech conglomerate that oversees digital services and brands such as Shopee, Garena and SeaMoney, has become Singapore’s richest man,
How it happened: Li became the city-state’s richest man after his company saw a 67% increase in shares this year, according to Bloomberg. He now has a net worth of $20.3 billion.
- The company’s second-quarter earnings report showed a $2.3 billion revenue increase, up by 158.6%, and total gross profits of $930.9 million, equating to a 363.5% year-on-year growth rate, Mashable reported.
- Sea Limited’s Shopee, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, was both the most downloaded app and the second-most downloaded app on the Google Play Store in the second quarter of 2021. It was also the second-most downloaded shopping app in the iOS App Store during the same period.
- “Free Fire,” a battle royale game developed by Garena, was the highest-grossing mobile game in Southeast Asia, Latin America and India for the second quarter of this year. It was also the second-highest grossing app on the Google Play Store in the same quarter and the highest-grossing battle royale game in the U.S. for two consecutive quarters.
- SeaMoney, a mobile wallet and another brand that Li’s company oversees, has also seen massive growth in the same quarter, with $4.1 billion in payments recorded. This marks a year-on-year increase of about 150%.
- Sea Limited is looking into expanding its portfolio in financial technology. In December 2020, the company obtained a digital banking license in Singapore, while it acquired Indonesia’s PT Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi (Bank BKE) the following month, Tech in Asia reported.
- The expansions “should allow the group to grow its SeaMoney business beyond payments to include lending, insurance, wealth management and other financial services,” said Nathan Naidu, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.
About Forrest Li: Li, who co-founded the tech conglomerate along with Gang Ye and David Chen, serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.
- Born in Tianjin, China, Li arrived in the city-state about 15 or 16 years ago and became a naturalized citizen, The Straits Times reported.
- Sea Limited’s other co-founders, Ye and Chen, are also billionaires with a net worth of $10.8 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively.
- Li joined the billionaire’s club in 2019, according to the Vulcan Post. He is currently ranked 5th in Forbes’ list of Singapore’s richest.