Nov 19 (Reuters) - Children's gaming platform Roblox is preparing to announce the possibility of a U.S. stock market listing by the end of the year.
Here are some details about the company.
What is it?
Roblox is one of the world's most viewed gaming sites for kids, with an estimated of 164 million active users in August, according the industry blog RTrack.
Three-fourths of all U.S. kids between 9 and 12 years old play Roblox, an advisor to the company was quoted on Nov. 5.
The platform, which is mostly composed of user-generated content offers software downloads for making games and playing them online.
It does not require an age limit to sign up for its services, unlike many other social media and gaming platforms.
Roblox aims at younger kids and, like Minecraft, Fortnite and Apex Legends, has seen a massive increase in use from children at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Roblox claims that users have spent nearly 37 billion hours on the platform since the beginning of 2008.
The company said in July that its developer community of 345,000 is on track to earn $250 million in 2020 - up from $110 million in 2019.
"Adopt Me!," one of the most played games on the platform, had 10 billion users in the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, another game that is popular, Piggy, hit almost 5 billion visits.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
Roblox lets players use the platform for free and they can earn money by purchasing premium plans or Robux. Robux is a currency that can be used to purchase clothes and other items that can enhance the user experience.
Users must download the Roblox application on their computers or mobile devices to play with the Lego-like characters, that also lets them join groups and chats to interact with others.
To create games with Roblox Studio, game developers must download the Roblox Studio extension.
Creators can earn from their games by charging users to play, and also by making in-game purchases.
What are the SAFEGUARDS?
Like many other websites, Roblox offers account controls to parents to limit how their children interact with other users on the website. It also offer additional controls for parents such as limiting the child to playing curated, pre-vetted games.
Sources tell Reuters that Roblox is considering a traditional IPO or a direct stock market listing for its listing.
Roblox raised $150m from venture capital investors including Andreessen Horowitz in the last quarter of this year. The company was valued at $4 billion.
HOW IS IT CONTROLLED
Fake It Till You Make It
Like other online platforms, Roblox is subject to very little U.S. regulation. The company's fraud against users and the mishandling of data regarding users under 13 are two of the exceptions.