Bloomberg - Forrest Li, Sea Ltd. s billionaire co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, has become Singapore's richest person as shares of his company surged. Li, born in Singapore and became a citizen of China later, is worth $19.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which is more than the Sea s American deposits rose this year. The city-state s second richest man, paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang, has a net worth of $17.7 billion. It is another example of how tech billionaires are climbing up the wealth rankings in countries across Asia. Earlier this year, the founder of messaging giant Kakao Corp. became South Korea's richest person. Sea, Southeast Asia's most valuable company, has been turning to Fintech for further growth beyond gaming and e-commerce, while also expanding beyond the region. It won a digital banking license in Singapore in December and acquired Indonesia - Kesejahteraan Ekonomi in Singapore, more well known as the BKE - Bank, people familiar with the matter said in January. Both moves should allow the group to grow its SeaMoney business to include lending, insurance, wealth management and other financial services, said Nathan Naidu, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. SeaMoney, the company s digital transactions and financial services business, saw total payments using its mobile wallet services skyrocketing to more than $4.1 billion in the second quarter, up almost 150% from a year earlier, Ti said on the earnings call on Aug. 17. Sea s revenue rose in the period to $2.3 billion, with 159% rising to $1.3 billion. Sea s largest success has been founded on its mobile game Free Fire which has exceeded 1 billion downloads on Google Play. It s also driven by its e-commerce platform, Shopee, which has become the second most downloaded shopping app in Android and iOS worldwide, Li said on the earnings call, citing App Annie data. Sea s three founders, Li, Gang Ye and David Chen, started the company in 2009 as the second half of 2008. Chen, Chief Operating Officer, is worth $10.8 billion, while Ye, Shopee s Chief Product Officer, has a net worth of $3.6 billion. Sea declined to comment on the CEOs wealth valuations. In late March the company gave a gift to the National University of Singapore of 50 million dollars $37.1 million to advance research in artificial intelligence and machine learning. NAidu says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst said he remains positive about Sea prospects, even after the stock surged more than 20-fold since listing in 2017. He said he expects the demand for the company services to carry strong after being boosted by the pandemic, and pointed to Shopee's expansion into Latin American markets including Brazil. People have warm up to digital services and online platforms after Covid, he said. I don't think they will completely give up the convenience of being offered.