Pandemic boosts seven-fold to $29,5bn the value of Roblox

Worldwide school lockdowns due to Covid-19 pandemic spiked the value of game developers. The popular game platform Roblox which is focused mainly on children managed to raise $520 m private capital which rose the overall value of the firm to 29,5 billion dollars. That is a seven-fold increase compared to February, 2020, BBC reported.

Roblox said it would also push ahead with a US share listing, having delayed the move last year. The robust growth is driven by lockdowns which force people to stay home and go online with their every day activities. Roblox was first released in 2006.

It's 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 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. Only a handful of companies have so far done direct listings including music streaming service Spotify. The private financing round 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 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.

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