As per the latest news, Roblox Corporation, one of the leading online gaming companies for kids, has reportedly announced that it has raised $520 million in a private funding round. The company has also announced plans to go public by direct listing in the market.
Last year, Roblox applied to go public, but seeing shares of DoorDash and Airbnb soaring in the market caused the company to delay going public. Unlike Palantir, Slack, and Spotify, which all had direct listings, It will allow current shareholders and employees to sell shares to new investors on listing day.
This is one of the different ways companies are trying to reach the public market as another option to the traditional initial public offering (IPO), which has been mocked earlier as a hand out to the latest investors at the cost of long term insiders and employees. The funding round, which was led by Altimeter Capital along with Dragoneer Investment Group, reportedly values Roblox at around $29.5 billion, an addition of much more than sevenfold from its last financial funding in Feb 2020.
In a filing, the company indicated that it still has some plans to raise funding of an additional $30 million. Roblox’s announcement comes immediately two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) approved a law allowing companies and institutions to raise primary funding at the exact time as their listing. Roblox, however, is raising the capital before its market listing.
Speaking on which, Brad Gerstner, CEO at Altimeter announced the next day after the rule change by SEC in Dec. that 2020 is going to be known as the year when traditional IPO got muddled. He further added that now companies have a platter of options, whether they want a traditional Initial public offering, a direct listing in the market, or a gateway of special-purpose SPAC (acquisition company).