Not S’pore’s richest man: Sea co-founder Forrest Li misplaced virtually US$18B in inventory crash

In September final 12 months, Forrest Li, the co-founder of Sea — the father or mother firm of Shopee — overtook Li Xiting to turn out to be Singapore’s richest man with a web value of US$20.2 billion.

He retained that standing until only a few months in the past together with his US$22 billion fortune. Now, he now not makes the reduce to be the highest 500 richest folks on the earth.

In keeping with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his web value is now valued at solely US$4.7 billion.

He has emerged as one of many largest losers from an enormous market crash. Moreover, the shutdown of its fundamental e-commerce operation in India and disappointing earnings have tanked the corporate’s American depository receipts greater than 80 per cent from a peak in October.

At one level, Sea was touted as Southeast Asia’s most beneficial firm, because it deepens its foray in fintech past gaming and e-commerce.

Shopee, the e-commerce arm of Sea Ltd / Picture Credit score: Reuters

The upcoming 12 months will pose a number of challenges for the corporate. Like different tech corporations that soared when the COVID-19 pandemic started, Sea is now going through difficulties as a consequence of a rise in rates of interest in addition to the tensions because of the warfare in Ukraine.

Sea can also be going through renewed competitors from rival companies, together with Alibaba, and extra persons are shifting from on-line to offline purchases as pandemic restrictions are eased.

Sea is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings quickly, and is anticipated to publish a report lack of greater than US$740 million, in accordance with the common analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

Sea’s web loss had already widened within the closing three months of final 12 months because the agency aggressively expanded.

Sea’s valuation collapse prompted Li to achieve out to his workers earlier in March. In a 900-word inside memo, he advised them to not concern and that whereas the drop is painful, “that is short-term ache that we’ve got to endure to actually maximise our long-term potential”.

Many tech entrepreneurs have additionally misplaced their fortunes

Apart from Li, many tech entrepreneurs who noticed their wealth rise on the again of the pandemic-induced development are being hit arduous by the market selloff.

Eric Yuan, chief government officer of Zoom Video Communications, has misplaced US$4.4 billion of wealth this 12 months, whereas the fortune of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest particular person, is down virtually US$58 billion.

(From left to proper) Forrest Li, Gang Ye and David Chen / Picture Credit score: Sea

The corporate’s different two co-founders are additionally not spared. Gang Ye has misplaced US$4.3 billion in wealth this 12 months, whereas David Chen is now not a billionaire. 

Beforehand, all three of the founders, who hail from China, had been featured on the highest half of Forbes’ Singapore’s Richest 2021 record.

Featured Picture Credit score: Sea Ltd

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