Tween gaming sensation Roblox to go public

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Popular gaming platform Roblox, a pandemic sensation among children, is aiming to raise USD1 billion in an initial public offering, according to documents published yesterday.

The online phenomenon, which allows users to create their own immersive 3D games, reported revenue of USD589 million for the nine months to September and an operating cash flow of USD345 million.

According to the IPO filing, the California-based company is not yet profitable, reporting a net loss of USD203.2 million in the nine months ending in September.

The size of the offering was listed at USD1 billion, though that will likely change, according to Bloomberg.

Roblox is a massive hit among seven to 13-year-olds, who can use the platform to play games across a range of devices and systems including iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Xbox.

Online gaming service Roblox displayed on a tablet screen in Paris. PHOTO: AFP

Developers get a share of any related revenue.

Videogaming has exploded since the start of coronavirus crisis as millions of people have been forced to stay at home.

According to the filing, daily active users of Roblox almost doubled from 12 million in 2018 to 17.6 million in 2019.

That number grew 82 per cent from 17.1 million in the nine months to the end of September 2019 to 31.1 million in the same period this year.

The pandemic has seen shares soar for tech companies such as video-meeting platform Zoom, while Big Tech powerhouses have reported robust earnings.