Hugely popular kids gaming platform Roblox is preparing for a U.S. stock market listing early next year, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The listing, which cashes in on a lockdown boom in video game sales and online spending, would value the company at as much as $8 billion, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
Here are some key facts behind one of the world’s biggest online games phenomena:
- Roblox is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children, with an estimated 150 million monthly active users as of July.
- The game targets younger kids and, like Minecraft, Fortnite or Apex Legends, has seen a huge surge in usage from kids locked in their homes this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Two-thirds of all U.S. kids between 9 and 12 years old use Roblox, and it’s played by a third of all Americans under the age of 16, Roblox told Bloomberg in April.
- The company makes most of its revenue from in-game purchases of “Robux” by kids, who then buy profiles, outfits and upgrades with the credits.
- Roblox does not make its financial records public but industry monitor Sensor Tower estimates that its mobile app made a record $113 million in sales in May.
- Roblox Mobile has generated 428.7 million downloads to date and has raked in nearly $2 billion in player spending, Sensortower data shows.
- Roblox Chief Business Officer Craig Donato told CNBC in April that usage surged 40% in March from February. The app trails only YouTube in terms of the biggest money makers on Apple’s iOS system, according to another industry monitor, AppAnnie.
- Roblox has faced claims that it was not doing enough to moderate content on the site, according to a NBC News report
- A report by tech website Fast Company earlier this year said Roblox employed 1,600 full-time moderators. By comparison, Facebook, which has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of June, employed 25,000 moderators.
- For its stock market listing, Roblox is weighing whether to go public through a traditional IPO or a direct listing, sources have told Reuters.
- Earlier this year, Roblox raised $150 million from venture capital investors including Andreessen Horowitz, at a valuation of $4 billion.
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