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Company News

FACTBOX-Kids gaming platform Roblox gets ready for stock market launch

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Hugely popular kids gaming platform Roblox is preparing for a U.S. stock market listing early next year, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The listing, which cashes in on a lockdown boom in video game sales and online spending, would value the company at as much as $8 billion, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

Here are some key facts behind one of the world’s biggest online games phenomena:

** Roblox is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children, with an estimated 150 million monthly active users as of July.

** The game targets younger kids and, like “Minecraft”, “Fortnite” or “Apex Legends”, has seen a huge surge in usage from kids locked in their homes this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

** Two-thirds of all U.S. kids between 9 and 12 years old use Roblox, and it's played by a third of all Americans under the age of 16, Roblox told Bloomberg in April (bloom.bg/3il07m5).

** The company makes most of its revenue from in-game purchases of “Robux” by kids, who then buy profiles, outfits and upgrades with the credits.

** Roblox does not make its financial records public but industry monitor Sensor Tower estimates that its mobile app made a record $113 million in sales in May.

** Roblox Mobile has generated 428.7 million downloads to date and has raked in nearly $2 billion in player spending, Sensortower data shows.

** Roblox Chief Business Officer Craig Donato told CNBC in April that usage surged 40% in March from February. The app trails only YouTube in terms of the biggest money makers on Apple's iOS system, according to another industry monitor, AppAnnie (cnb.cx/3cSczZe).

** Roblox has faced claims that it was not doing enough to moderate content on the site, according to a NBC News report (nbcnews.to/2ETUyxh)

** A report by tech website Fast Company earlier this year said Roblox employed 1,600 full-time moderators. By comparison, Facebook, which has over 2.7 billion monthly active users as of June, employed 25,000 moderators. (bit.ly/2GbHEeN)

** For its stock market listing, Roblox is weighing whether to go public through a traditional IPO or a direct listing, sources have told Reuters.

** Earlier this year, Roblox raised $150 million from venture capital investors including Andreessen Horowitz, at a valuation of $4 billion. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera, Anirban Sen and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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