The case is about Sea Limited (NYSE: SE), once Southeast Asia’s most valuable listed company with a market capitalisation of over USD231 billion in October 2021. The company began as an online game distribution platform, and quickly evolved into a digital services ecosystem with an offering that included e-commerce and digital financial services. Being mobile-centric and focusing on emerging markets are at the core of Sea Limited’s business model. In two post IPO fundraisings in December 2020 and in September 2021, it had amassed close to USD10 billion from the market. Investors were bullish towards Sea’s prospects for growth. Yet, the global macro socio-economic conditions were challenging. Geopolitical tension between the US and China is increasing. Supply chains are disrupted. Interest rates are climbing, and the threat of global recession looms large. The case asks, under such conditions, how can Sea Limited address these challenges and realise its potential for further growth?
This case provides students with an overview of an internet company’s path to success, and the strategic decisions the company made along the way. It serves as a canvas for students to analyse market threats and opportunities, to identify core competencies that formed a company’s competitive advantage, to explore strategic options for growth, and learn how to address related challenges.
1. To provide students with a basic understanding of an internal analysis, with a focus on core competencies identified from a firm’s resources and capabilities.
2. To provide students with an overview of how external factors affect the company, and understand how industry structure affects competitive rivalry, and the implications in strategy formulation.
3. To evaluate how changes in external environments shape the competition dynamics faced by a company.
4. To explore the opportunities and challenges associated with global expansion.
5. To offer an opportunity to discuss how to address some of these challenges.