Warner Music Group has invested in kids’ gaming phenomenon Roblox, as the platform’s owner, Roblox Corporation, plans to float on the stock exchange via a Spotify-style direct listing.
Warner has joined a $520m Series H investment round in Roblox Corporation at a purchase price of $45.00 per share. The round was led by Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group, and gives Roblox a $29.5bn valuation.
Warner is understood to have invested an eight-figure sum in Roblox, which would result in WMG owning a fraction of a single percentage of the firm at said valuation.
California-headquartered Roblox said the funding would “advance [our] growth initiatives and mission to build a human co-experience platform that enables shared experiences among billions of users”.
Roblox estimates that two-thirds of all US children between 9 and 12 years old use the platform, and that it’s played by a third of all Americans under the age of 16.
Roblox was expected to IPO in the US during December 2020 but delayed its flotation. The Wall Street Journal now reports the company is planning a direct listing.
Roblox enables community members to build in-world experiences and games for its 31 million-plus average daily active global user base. In July last year, Roblox announced its platform was attracting more than 150 million global active users each month.
Lil Nas X held an in-platform concert in Roblox in November, which attracted over 30 million views across four weekend performances.
Warner/Atlantic-signed artist Ava Max hosted a virtual launch party for her album Heaven & Hell on the platform two months earlier.
Today’s news comes six months after Sony Corporation – parent of Sony Music Group – acquired a $250m stake in Epic Games, maker of Fortnite.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Altimeter, Dragoneer and the other new investors,” said David Baszucki, CEO and co-founder of Roblox. “We look forward to working with all of them as we continue our mission to build a human co-experience platform that enables shared experience, from play to work, and learning among billions of users.”
Brad Gerstner, CEO of Altimeter, added: “While once viewed as a gaming platform, Roblox has emerged as a definitive global community connecting millions of people through communication, entertainment and commerce,” said “And as the world moves toward a hybrid future – where online and offline community and learning co-exist, we are proud to back a values-driven business that takes seriously its obligation to build an inclusive, creative, and positive community.”
“Roblox has built a unique and imaginative virtual experience with a growing, loyal community, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to support the company at this stage of its development,” said Marc Stad, Founder and Managing Partner of Dragoneer Investment Group. “We look forward to partnering with the Roblox team as they continue to execute on a compelling growth strategy and capitalize on the substantial opportunities ahead.”Music Business Worldwide