The company behind children’s online gaming platform Roblox has seen its value rocket during the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Roblox raised $520m (£394m) in private capital which valued the firm at $29.5bn, a seven-fold increase since February 2020.
Roblox said it would also push ahead with a US share listing, having delayed the move last year.
The company said it will use the fresh funds to build its community and become more of a social platform.
Game maker Roblox’s value rockets seven-fold during pandemic https://t.co/YtPbBjtaCD— BBC Business (@BBCBusiness) January 7, 2021
Roblox was first released in 2006, but has seen dramatic growth during the Covid-19 pandemic as children who were forced to stay home spent more time playing games.
Its revenue jumped 91% from a year earlier to $242.2m, Roblox said in its prospectus. Roblox games , which allows users to create avatars across different titles, are free to play but the company sells digital currency called Robux that can buy virtual goods and enhance characters.
The move to debut its shares is slightly different than originally planned as it will be a direct listing rather than the traditional initial public offering (IPO) route.
With a direct listing, a company typically doesn’t raise capital and investors don’t have to wait for a lockup period to expire before selling their shares.
A handful of companies have opted for direct listings since US regulators approved them, including music streaming service Spotify.
The $520m of private financing was led by Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group. Warner Music Group is also one of several current investors.
“The proceeds from the financing will advance Roblox’s growth initiatives and mission to build a human co-experience platform that enables shared experiences among billions of users,” Roblox said in a statement.
Roblox hosts millions of games on its platform that are built by its users, who then get a share of any related revenue. It had 31 million daily active users during the first nine months of 2020, up 82% from the same period in 2019.
“As the world moves toward a hybrid future – where online and offline community and learning co-exist, we are proud to back a values-driven business that takes seriously its obligation to build an inclusive, creative, and positive community,” Altimeter Capital’s chief executive Brad Gerstner said.
Roblox has been expanding its focus to become a social platform, where users can play games and also attend virtual birthday parties and concerts with friends.
During school lockdowns, Roblox has been promoting its creation tools and educational content which are provided free-of-charge.
- Court of Appeal Judge to be investigated for ‘suspicious ruling’
- Ras Nene confronts Achimota Mall security for stopping his team from filming
- Ghana returns to gold top spot as output jumps 32%
- The Multimedia Group’s Lead Camera Technician, Modestus Zame laid to rest
- Tourists watch Russian man get devoured by shark on Egypt beach
- 2022/23 GPL final day: Medeama and Bechem title tug of war, Hearts of Oak’s relegation threat
- Playback: Burial service of The Multimedia Group’s Lead Camera Technician Modestus Zame
- Minority warns against turning Green Ghana Day events into corruption schemes
- ‘Spiritualist’ on trial for allegedly defrauding client of GHȼ85,000
- Economic crisis: Things will get better; but not this year – Badu-Aboagye
- Vice President Bawumia has never held British or any other citizenship – Gideon Boako
- Life lounge with Edem Knight-Tay: Only because she is a woman
- I’ve been forced out over Partygate report – Boris Johnson
- 2023 AFCONQ: Chris Hughton replaces injured Alexander Djiku with Kasim Adams
- Media Coalition Against Galamsey frustrated at non-prosecution of Akonta Mining directors
- ISSER recommends adoption of electric vehicles to achieve a low-carbon transport sector
- Prof Frimpong Boateng is a role model for fighting ‘galamsey’, follow his examples – German Ambassador urges Ghanaians
- Special Prosecutor is guest on Newsfile on Saturday, June 10
- Unemployment in Ghana is highest among female youth – ISSER report reveals alarming disparities
- GrEEn project plants 2,000 trees in Ashanti and Western regions
- Asantehene leads tree planting in Kumasi as part of Green Ghana Day initiative
- Johnnie Walker Black Label and Red Label ‘step out of boxes’
- Sankalp West Africa Summit 2023 on entrepreneurship slated for June 12
- French Open 2023: Novak Djokovic through to final after Carlos Alcaraz injury
- Man Utd owners spoke to PSG chairman about Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s bid