Roblox, the online gaming sensation that rightfully earned its name as a ‘shelter-in-place’ for millions of kids during the pandemic, filed for an IPO on Thursday. The consumer internet company is joining a herd of tech companies that are aiming to go public before the end of the year.
The company’s revenue in the third quarter jumped 91% from a year ago to $242.2 million, Roblox said in the filing. Its net loss more than doubled to $48 million.
Roblox was founded in 2006, but has never seen revenues jump like in 2020. With more than a fifth of the world’s population under lockdown, the online gaming company’s daily active users doubled in the period ended September to 36.2 million. The company’s “hours engaged” more than doubled to 8.7 billion during the period.
“We have experienced rapid growth in the three months ended June 30, 2020, September 30, 2020 and for a portion of the three months ended March 31, 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic given our users have been online more as a result of global COVID-19 shelter-in-place policies,” Roblox wrote.
The children’s gaming platform is home to millions of games that can be played across Amazon, Apple, and Google devices as well as consoles. The games are free to play, and the company sells digital currency called Robux that can be used to buy virtual goods and enhance characters. The platform also generates revenue by allowing users to rent servers and host virtual birthday parties and other gathering, which have gotten popular during the pandemic.
This year’s upcoming IPOs include Airbnb, DoorDash and Affirm. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, slumping economy, and the post-election rally, US stocks and investor demand for high-growth tech companies has remained high. An increasing number of tech companies are trying to make the most of the upcoming IPO fever in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Earlier this year, Roblox raised $150 million from venture capital investors including Andreessen Horowitz. The Series G brought Roblox’s valuation to more than $4 billion. Some of the largest shareholders of Roblox are Altos Ventures, First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners, and Tiger Global Management.