On Roblox going public

March 16, 2021

For the past long year of the pandemic, all my son talks and thinks about can pretty much be summed up by one-word: Roblox. Turns out, he’s just one of the 32.5 million “Daily Active Users” that are on the gaming platform each day.

As I wrote about in this piece for Bloomberg Opinion, it’s a great time for a gaming company to go public. With school — at least where we live in California — about to mark its one-year virtual anniversary, there’s been plenty of time for kids like my son to spend time online.

It’s not all bad — as I note in my piece, he has taught himself how to code and build his own games. And he’s been able to play with friends who now live in other places, like New York, Taipei and a small city in Norway called Ålesund.

Still, it’s a lot of time on various screens — time that I don’t expect him to have as much of once life begins to return to some semblance of normalcy. While he loves playing Roblox, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t rather see a Dodgers game IRL than play Roblox.

Judging by some recent SEC filings, Roblox executives definitely used the IPO to cash out. For example, Chief Business Officer Craig Donato, sold nearly 1.2 million shares worth over $80 million. He wasn’t the only one to cash out. Founder and CEO David Baszucki also sold or gifted 1.7 million shares. Ditto for CFO Michael Guthrie, who also sold 1.2 million shares.

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