On Wednesday, the American gaming platform Roblox found itself in a new world in which it had to evolve: Wall Street. It won the jackpot for its first listing, with the title surpassing $ 70 in early trades. Enough to value the company more than $ 40 billion (€ 34 billion) including employee options.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where the shares are listed, previously set a record price of $ 45 a share, while the most recent round of financing, in January, gave the company a valuation of $ 29.5 billion.
With the so-called “direct” quote, the company did not issue new shares on Wednesday to raise funds, but the process allows its existing shareholders to sell the shares and thus realize their profits. Of these, founder and CEO Dave Baszuki still owns 12% of the equity, along with venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz.
Community of developers
The company was founded in 2004 by Dave Baszuki and Eric Cassel, who died in 2013. They previously created a simulation program, Interactive Physics, to conduct experiments of science lessons for teachers and their students. This time, the promise is to get the kids to find out Millions of worlds created by society.
The San Mateo (California) company, which has benefited greatly from the containment, is now close to $ 1 billion in revenue ($ 924 million last year), yet still a loss that accounts for more than a quarter of its revenue (253 million).
Like the app store, Roblox works with a community of developers creating new games and constantly expanding the “metaverse” (fictitious virtual world) of the platform. Developers in the community made about $ 250 million last year (up from $ 110 million the year before), according to figures released last year by the company at its annual developer conference, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“From six to sixty years”
Like other platforms, most Roblox games (Adopt !, Piggy, Jail Break, etc.) are free but the improvements are payable in a virtual currency, Robux, purchased with a credit card or by producing content. Hence, players, even the youngest, can develop their own projects, even the most basic ones, thus going further than the construction allowed in games like competing Minecraft.
Some analysts now fear that the resumption of face-to-face education in the United States will reduce the number of visitors to the platform. The world of Roblox currently mainly attracts kids, but the company hopes to raise the average lifespan of its users – starting with “Six to sixty”The company said. To do this, it has begun developing partnerships with brands and players in the entertainment industry, and offers to organize online events on its platform. Roblox is also seeking to internationalize its platform.
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