Roblox, which has over 164 million monthly active users, is especially popular with children under 16, more than 50% of whom play on the online gaming platform in the United States. Now, the company, founded by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004, is preparing to go public on March 10.
In turn, the gaming site hopes to being attracting older players as it expands into live entertainment and educational events. According to Baszucki, “When we experience concerts together, we dance together, we chat with our friends, we dress up. Concerts aren’t just something we consume. They really are naturally something we do together.” The company has also hosted film promotion events, as if did for Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman.
In November, rapper Lis Nas X held a two-night virtual show on the platform, drawing more than 30 million viewers. One of the top-grossing iOS and Android apps, the platform hosts millions of user-created games that let kids interact with their friends while playing. In 2020, revenue for Roblox surged 82 percent to $923.9 million with users logging 30.6 billion hours on the site, more than double the number of hours spent on the site in 2019, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet the company is looking to expand even further in the future. “We’re increasingly appealing to an older user base,” said Roblox CFO Mike Guthrie, noting that gamers over the age of 13 now account for 44% of all active users. Baszucki also wants to provide content so schools can use Roblox, rather than video chat, for online lessons.
Roblox began considering an initial public offering (IPO) last year, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) scrutiny made them contemplate a direct listing instead. In January, the company raised $520 million in a funding round led by Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group. The company was valued at $29.5 billion after the round, up from $4 billion in January 2020.
Some of the platform’s most popular games include Adopt Me!, Jailbreak, MeepCity, Murder Mystery 2, Natural Disaster Survival, Piggy, Royale High, Welcome to Bloxburg and Work at a Pizza Place.
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