Roblox goes public via direct listing, soars to $38 billion valuation

Technology

Roblox is one of the most popular online gaming platforms out there. It lets users create and play their own custom minigames using Roblox’s intuitive, Lego-like building mechanics, simple Lua scripting language, and a plethora of user-made content. Now, after over 15 years of operation and two delays, the platform is finally ready to take itself public via a direct listing.

Roblox was valued at about $29.5 billion in a January funding round, though its true public value was up to the market to decide. On its first day of trading, Roblox got a big 40% bump giving the company a market cap of just over $38 billion.

This is big news for Roblox, as well as its more avid fans. Interested parties can check out the company’s full SEC filing here. The prospectus lays out the details of Roblox’s business model and financials — it earned $924 million in revenue throughout 2020 — as well as some of the risks and challenges it will face as a public company.

For example, since Roblox has a history of net losses, the company acknowledges that it may struggle to “achieve or maintain” profitability in the future.

Roblox, like most other software companies, was adversely affected by the pandemic on the development side, and those disruptions likely won’t abate soon. However, the pandemic had the opposite effect in terms of user growth. A year ago, Roblox was celebrating that it had reached 115 million monthly active users (MAU), but then it added some 80 million users in 2020 alone, so the official count is close to 200 million MAU as of writing.

If you truly believe in Roblox as a platform or as a company, you can now get your piece of the pie. Roblox is trading on the NYSE under the RBLX symbol.