Roblox

Roblox

Roblox provides an online entertainment platform that allows users to build and play games and share them with others.

Overview

Roblox is a Calfiornia-based company that has constructed a user-generated online gaming platform, with over fifteen million games created by users. The games are based in virtual reality and can be played across platforms While the platform has a large emphasis on gaming, it has begun prioritizing virtual meeting places and the company has stated a goal to create a large-scale metaverse.

Games can be played by all ages, but the platform is mostly targeted towards children, with over 54% of all users being under the age of thirteen, according to Roblox. The platform hosts a filtered chat with a whitelist of certain words acceptable for children under the age of thirteen, and a blacklist of unacceptable words.

Although the platform and the company have been relatively small since launch, they have witnessed huge growth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has seen Roblox increase in valuation from $4 billion to $29.5 billion from February 2020 to January 2021, attributed to increased use by children while under pandemic lockdown. Roblox recorded $924 million in revenue in 2020, an 82% increase from 2019.

Roblox went public via NYSE direct listing on March 11, 2021, and ended its first trading day with a $38 billion market cap. Shares for the company close at $69.47, for a fully diluted value of $45.3 billion.

Demographics and usage

Roblox is largely targeted at children and teenagers, with over 54% of all users being under the age of thirteen. According to the platform, over three out of every four children in the US aged nine to twelve are on Roblox, as well as half of every UK ten year-old.

Roblox user age distribution

Age group
User percentage among Daily Average Users

13-16

13%

17-24

16%

25+

14%

9-12

29%

Under 9

25%

Compared to most online gaming platforms, Roblox is largely even among male and female users. Roblox users are reportedly 51% male, 44% female and 5% undisclosed. This shows an increase in female users since 2016, when only 35% of users were female.

History

Roblox was founded in 2004 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel and released in 2006. The platform hosts user-created games that are coded in the programming language Lua. While Roblox is free to play, it offers in-game purchases through its own virtual currency named “Robux”.

Founded under the name Dynablocks, the platform changed its name to Roblox in 2005. Shortly after officially launching on September 1, 2006, Roblox released a premium membership, titled “Builders Club.”

Roblox released its first iOS version of Roblox on December 11, 2012 and its first Android version on July 16, 2014. The platform's Developer Exchange program, which allows developers to exchange Robux for real-world currencies, was released on October 1, 2013.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a large surge in Roblox gameplay and usage. The platform has more than doubled in daily active users since 2018, with an 85% increase during the 2020 pandemic.

IPO

Roblox went public via direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange on March 10, 2021. The company had a suggested price point of $45 per share under the ticker RBLX, and shot up 54.4% to $69.50 by closing. The IPO was the first direct listing in 2021, and the success of Roblox's stock price has been attributed to its large growth in 2020 and future goal of creating a mass metaverse.

The metaverse is part of Roblox's push to create an online world where users can meet, game, and congregate virtually. The game is already the biggest US mobile game as of 2020, and raised $924 in 2020 alone. Another factor in the company's stock is the average usage per user, with the average US user spending over one hundred minutes a day on the mobile app during the peak of quarantine.

Product

The Roblox platform can be accessed on the following platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Devices, and Xbox One.The games are immersive 3D experiences and are powered by the users of the platform, who are compensated for their work. Users can make their own games with the company's desktop design tool, Roblox Studio.

Robux

Robux is Roblox's in-game currency, which allows users to purchase upgrades and avatar accessories. Four hundred Robux starts at $4.99 on the Roblox website; the highest value pack offering 10,000 for $99.99.

Robux are an integral part of Roblox, due to their importance in rewarding and paying in-game creators. Roblox allows developers to create their own games, accessories and add-ons to the platform. According to the company, more than 1,250 developers earned over $10,000 in 2020, with over 300 surpassing $100,000. Developers earn 70% of all game purchases on Roblox, and they also earn Robux through engagement-based payouts, content and tools sold between developers, and items sold through the Avatar Marketplace.

VR

Roblox has operated virtual reality (VR) applications beginning in the mid 2010s, and launched Roblox VR for Oculus Rift in April 2016. The platform allows users to access games and virtual meeting places via VR headsets, with virtual reality growing as the platform works to create a large-scale metaverse for users.

Timeline

March 10, 2021
Shares of gaming company Roblox opened at $64.50 on Wednesday in the first major venture-backed tech direct listing of the year.
March 10, 2021
Roblox shares surge 60% on first day of trading after lockdown gaming boom
March 10, 2021
Roblox goes public on the New York Stock Exchange via direct-listing, closing on opening day at $69.47 per share.
January 7, 2021
Roblox values worth at $30 billion, more than seven times its valuation from 11 months ago.
January 6, 2021
Roblox raises $520M in private capital.
January 2021
Roblox raises a $29,500,000,000 series H round from Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group.
December 14, 2020
Roblox announces that it is buying a digital avatar startup called Loom.ai.
July 20, 2020
Roblox launches Party Place, a private venue for virtual birthday parties and other meetups.
February 27, 2020
Roblox raises $150M Series G, led by Andreessen Horowitz, and others participating in the Series G.
February 2020
Roblox raises a $4,000,000,000 series G round from Andreessen Horowitz and The a16z Cultural Leadership Fund.
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Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Roblox Series A round
2,200,000
August 14, 2009
6 Results
Results per page:
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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

David Baszucki

Founder

Alex Houlton

Employee

Andrea Vinkler

Employee

Andrew Masters

Employee

Anthony Vitez

Employee

Bette Vu

Employee

Bryce Donahue

Employee

Cari Hohman

Employee

Carla Long

Employee

Chelsea Michaels

Employee

Chithroobeni Shankar

Employee

Chris Carvalho

Employee

Christian Canonigo

Employee

Christian Hresko

Employee

Christofer Oberst

Employee

Christopher Lengyel

Employee

David Baszucki

Founder

Dinh Cao

Employee

Doug Banks

Employee

Erich Zancanella

Employee

Ernest French

Employee

Eva Wang

Employee

Grace Lee

Employee

Greg Baszucki

Investor

Hector Yeomans

Employee

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Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Investing in Roblox - Andreessen Horowitz

David George and Marc Andreessen

Blog post

February 26, 2020

Roblox Stock Continues To Climb As Market Value Tops $39 Billion

Brian Deagon

Web

March 11, 2021

Roblox Usage and Growth Statistics: How Many People Play Roblox in 2021?

Brian Dean

Web

February 24, 2021

Welcome to the metaverse, the sci-fi dream behind Roblox's $38 billion valuation

Steve Kovach

Web

March 11, 2021

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Carla Mozée
April 13, 2021
Business Insider
Roblox reached a deal with Hasbro to bring digital Nerf and Monopoly products to its online gaming platform, sending Roblox shares higher.
Reza Chowdhury
April 12, 2021
AlleyWatch
The Pulse of New York Tech
Benj Edwards
April 11, 2021
How-To Geek
Changing your name on Roblox is an easy process using your Settings page, but you'll need to pay 1,000 units of Roblox's in-game currency, Robux, to do it. Here's how.
Dan Whateley
April 10, 2021
Business Insider
A Twitter and Roblox user who posed as a WHCA member managed to land four questions in recent Biden administration briefings, Politico reported.
Benj Edwards
April 10, 2021
How-To Geek
Roblox is a fun service to use, but if you don't play it anymore, you might want to completely delete your account. Roblox doesn't make it easy, so you have to take some extra steps. Here's how to do it.
Devon Delfino
April 9, 2021
Business Insider
You can redeem a Roblox gift card by applying the balance to your account or by using it during the checkout process.
Walter Thompson
April 2, 2021
TechCrunch
This week included a deep dive on Tonal, a look at Substack's valuation and how-tos on startup hiring and responding to security breaches.
Lucas Matney
March 31, 2021
TechCrunch
The gaming sector has never been hotter or had higher expectations from investors who are dumping billions into upstarts that can adjust to shifting tides faster that the existing giants will. Bay Area-based Manticore Games is one of the second-layer gaming platforms looking to build on the market's momentum. The startup tells TechCrunch they've closed [...]
Annie Siebert
March 26, 2021
TechCrunch
Gamefam learned to develop on Roblox the hard way -- by trial and error and by getting better at listening to the community's unique gamer culture. Here are some common mistakes.
Kim Lyons
March 25, 2021
The Verge
Rec Room, an online gaming platform popular with teenagers that began as a virtual reality startup, saw a 566 percent increase in revenue in 2020 and now has more than 15 million lifetime users.
Keza MacDonaldand Keith Stuart
March 25, 2021
the Guardian
Millions bought new consoles in 2020. But with the pandemic ruining big releases, there's a shortage of games to play on them
Ian Carlos Campbell
March 19, 2021
The Verge
Gucci has launched an exclusively virtual pair of designer sneakers called The Gucci Virtual 25 for use in augmented reality and games like Roblox.
Simon Hill
March 15, 2021
Wired
The video game was just valued at a staggering $45 billion. It's also been a lifeline for my children since the start of lockdown.
Lucas Matney
March 14, 2021
TechCrunch
Hello friends, and welcome to Week in Review. Last week, I talked a bit about NFTs and their impact on artists. If you're inundated with NFT talk just take one quick look at this story I wrote this week about the $69 million sale of Beeple's photo collage. This hype cycle is probably all the [...]
USA TODAY
March 13, 2021
USA TODAY
This week we remember the creator of the cassette tape. Also: Netflix began a test to thwart password sharing and Xbox Game Pass got 20 new games.
Sarah Perez
March 13, 2021
TechCrunch
Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the weekly TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion in global consumer spend in 2020. Consumers last year also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using apps on Android devices [...]
By Lora Jones & Laura Heighton-Ginns
March 12, 2021
BBC News
The popularity of online gaming platform Roblox has allowed some developers to make serious money.
Walter Thompson
March 12, 2021
TechCrunch
Our growing library of how-to stories are aimed squarely at early-stage founders and workers trying to solve long-term problems.
Mark Sweney
March 10, 2021
the Guardian
Trading debut in New York prompts huge demand for game system with 200m monthly users
SHOW MORE

References

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