Roblox reference share price set at US$45


San Mateo, California-based Roblox is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children and offers a host of games across mobile devices and gaming consoles.(The Roblox trading information is displayed on a banner, to celebrate the company's IPO at the NYSE is seen in New York)

NEW YORK: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has set a reference price of US$45 for shares of United States gaming platform Roblox Corp on the eve of its public market debut, implying a market value for the company of around US$30bil.

San Mateo, California-based Roblox is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children and offers a host of games across mobile devices and gaming consoles.

The reference price is not an offering price to purchase shares but rather will be a performance benchmark for when Roblox’s stock starts trading on the stock exchange.

The opening public price will be determined by buy and sell orders collected by the NYSE from broker-dealers.

Roblox has opted to go public through a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

This means the company is not selling any shares in advance of its market debut, as is the case with IPOs.

Direct listings are still relatively rare, though they are becoming increasingly popular way to go public amid criticism that investment banks underwriting IPOs underprice shares being sold to help create a first-day trading “pop” for the benefit of their big trading clients.

Reuters reported last week that US grocery delivery app Instacart is considering going public through a direct listing, concerned that it could leave money on the table through an IPO.

Roblox said in January it had raised around US$520mil in a new Series H private fundraising round in a deal which valued it at US$29.5bil, more than seven times the US$4bil the company was valued at in its Series G round 11 months earlier.

US demand for video games has surged as consumers seek home entertainment while living under lockdown measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Founded by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and released in 2006, the platform hosts user-created games of multiple genres coded in the programming language Lua. ─ Reuters

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