Khazanah Nasional Bhd led a consortium that raised US$170 million for Garena in a fundraising round in March last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd is reaping the fruits of its investment in Singapore-based Garena as the online gaming portal and e-commerce provider prepares for a US$1 billion (RM4.5 billion) initial public offering (IPO).

Garena, Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, had picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc to lead its IPO in the United States that could fetch about US$1 billion, Bloomberg quoted people with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Garena plans to select additional banks as soon as this month.

If completed, the deal would be a boon for backers such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and mark the largest technology IPO out of Southeast Asia, reported Bloomberg.

The IPO may open the door for offerings from other local startups, including ride-hailing leader Grab and e-commerce operator Tokopedia.

Khazanah led a consortium that raised US$170 million for Garena in a fundraising round in March last year. The Singapore-based company was value at about US$3.5 billion then.

Garena was founded by China entrepreneur Forrest Li as an online gaming company in 2009. It has since branched out to add mobile shopping and payment services in Southeast Asia, said Bloomberg.

Since 2011, Garena, a portmanteau of “global arena”, has grown its net revenue by 13-fold to US$270 million in 2015.

Other backers of Garena include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and private-equity firm General Atlantic LLC.

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