Forrest Li, CEO and co-founder of tech giant Sea Ltd., is now Singapore's richest person, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (Aug. 31)
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is now worth US$19.8 billion (S$26.6 billion), after his company's shares surged 67 per cent this year.
Southeast Asia's biggest public company
Sea Ltd, which owns popular e-commerce platform Shopee, is Southeast Asia's biggest public company, valued at US$120 billion (S$161 billion), according to Nikkei Asia.
Sea Ltd started as a gaming company in 2009 under the name Garena, and launched Shopee in 2015. It rebranded as Sea in 2017.
After winning a digital-banking license in Singapore last year, Sea aims to make further headway in its fintech business, SeaMoney, reported Bloomberg.
Sea Ltd was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. Its stock price has multiplied more than 20 times since.
Li arrived in Singapore 15 years ago
Li, who was born in China, arrived in Singapore 15 years ago, with loans of S$100,000 and was only able to rent a room in Braddell, according to CNA.
Li is a naturalised Singapore citizen, and the chairman of Singapore Premier League team Lion City Sailors, which his company bought in 2020.
He also sits on the board of directors of the Economic Development Board, and serves on the board of trustees at the National University of Singapore, according to Sea.
Li first joined the billionaire's club more than two years ago, in March 2019.
Co-founders made Forbes' 2021 Singapore rich list
Sea's two other co-founders, Gang Ye and David Chen, are also billionaires.
Ye, Sea's chief operating officer is worth S$14.5 billion, and Chen, Shopee's chief product officer is worth S$4.8 billion, according to Bloomberg.
They all feature on the top half of Forbes' 2021 Singapore rich list.
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Top photos via Sea Ltd and Gede Bagus Bayu Pentium/Google Maps