When we think of unicorn start-ups in the region, many people will immediately think of Grab, valued at around US$14 billion (S$19.05 billion) based on its latest round of financing.

But there is another successful start-up in Singapore that leaves Grab in its wake in some aspects.

Sea Limited (NYSE: SE) is probably Singapore’s largest company. Yet many Singaporeans may never even have heard of it unless they happen to be an avid gamer or online shopper.

But even then, the name might not be quite as familiar as Grab whose logo is emblazoned across its livery of private-hire cars, food-delivery riders and payment services through its mobile app.

The understated Sea Limited was founded by Forrest Xiaoping Li in Singapore in 2009 originally as Garena, which is an online games portal.

Instead of listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in its hometown of Singapore, the company chose to be floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017.