Headquartered in Singapore, Garena was founded in 2009 by Forrest Li and his friends as they aspired to transform their passion for entrepreneurship into a great company. Forrest named the company "Garena" – a play on the words "global arena” – in reference to his broader aspirations to connect people via the Internet. Garena has since grown swiftly to become a leading platform provider for online PC and mobile entertainment, social & commerce and financial services across Asia, serving millions of users.
In 2010, we launched our first product, Garena , an online platform for people to meet, chat and play games with one another. By combining a communication tool with compelling digital content, Garena re-invented the business model for online entertainment in Southeast Asia and created a platform with strong network effects. Since its launch, many of the world’s most successful online games have been exclusively available on Garena including three of the most popular titles in Southeast Asia.
Since then, Garena has steadily innovated by adding successful extensions to our original platform:
2013: We launched BeeTalk, the first indigenous mobile social network in Southeast Asia.
2014: We introduced AirPay, a key tool for bridging the ‘digital divide’ to provide accessible financial services in emerging markets. Garena users can pay for online content, telephone bills, utilities, e-commerce transactions etc. on the AirPay network – regardless of whether they have a bank account or credit card.
2015: We launched Shopee, a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users come together to browse, shop and sell on the go, anytime, anywhere. Shopee is fully integrated with respected logistics networks and local payment providers. Shopee aims to make online shopping easy, secure, and fuss-free for both sellers and buyers.
The combination of PC and mobile, content and communications, and micro-transactions and payments is the foundation of Garena’s compelling value proposition to our millions of users and our trusted partners.
Garena's investors include General Atlantic, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Tovio Annus, a co-founder of Skype.