What could be one of the hottest offerings this month is happening today. It’s the day popular game maker Roblox goes live on the New York Stock Exchange. Roblox will trade under the symbol RBLX.
If you know a tween or teen, there’s a good chance they’re one of the many obsessed with Roblox, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game platform that lets the users themselves program games that can be played by all Roblox users. The company originally launched in 2004 and saw its user base skyrocket as the pandemic and lockdowns hit last year. (It saw its share of controversy too.) The iOS version of the game alone went from $1 billion in player spending revenue in November 2019 to $2 billion by October 2020. Roblox is also available on Windows, macOS, Android, and Xbox One.
Roblox’s Series H round of investment closed in January 2021, raising a total of $535 million, which valued the company at around $29.5 billion. However, it’s important to note that today’s Roblox offering isn’t an IPO. Rather it’s a direct listing. That means no new shares in the company are being created and sold. Instead, existing shares of the company are being offered with a reference price of $45. That isn’t the actual price of a share of RBLX, rather it acts as a directional indicator.
As CNBC notes, Roblox says it paid its developers on its platform $328.7 million last year—up almost 200% YOY. The majority of Roblox’s revenue comes from virtual items, but the company has recently rolled out a subscription service. It’s also recently begun working with brands like Marvel and Netflix for in-game branded content.
This post has been updated with information about Roblox’s most recent funding.