Singapore-based developer Garena has seen its company valuation grow from $1 billion to $23 billion over the last six years.
This stat was revealed by Bitkraft Ventures founding general partner Malte Barth during his talk at PGC Digital on 'The Next Wave of Esports Investments: Mobile Esports Investment Trends to Watch for in 2020 and Beyond'.
Garena's valuation jump is directly related to the success of its mobile survival shooter Garena Free Fire. Most recently, the game hit a new record of 80 million daily active users and was the most downloaded mobile game globally across the 2019 financial year (via App Annie).
The shooter has continued to grow throughout 2020 with the number of players rising to 402.1 million in Q1 2020, representing an increase of 48 per cent year-over-year. Furthermore, paid users jumped to 35.7 million for the same period, showing an even bigger increase of 73 per cent compared to the previous year.
Garena’s parent company, Sea, does not break out a specific valuation for the company, though the firm as a whole currently has a market cap of more than $40 billion. Sea’s other businesses include an e-commerce arm, Shopee, and a digital financial service arm via SeaMoney.
Honor of Kings
During the same presentation, Barth spoke about the huge presence of Garena published and Tencent's prized asset, Honor of Kings. The MOBA reached a peak of 75 million unique viewers via esports in 2018 and is gaining on the current biggest viewership - League of Legends - which recorded 99.6 million.
The Honor of Kings esports league (KPL) boasts a live audience that is made up of approximately 60 per cent female attendees. 54 per cent of Honor of Kings' users were confirmed as female too, with its most hardcore players spending more than 40 plus hours per week in-game.
Tencent recently launched its international adaption of Honor of Kings (Arena of Valor) in Russia and MENA.
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