Roblox Corporation is an American video game developer based in San Mateo, California. Founded in 2004 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel, the company is the developer of Roblox, which was released in 2006. As of December 2020, Roblox Corporation employs more than 830 people. The company went public in March 2021 via a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Roblox Corporation was founded by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel. Baszucki had previously founded Knowledge Revolution, an educational software company, in 1989. That year, through the company, he and Cassel developed Interactive Physics, a 2D physics simulation. Knowledge Revolution followed this up with Working Model, which simulated mechanical devices. The company was eventually purchased in December 1998 for US$20 million by MSC Software, where Baszucki and Cassel obtained senior positions. Baszucki was the company's vice president and general manager from 2000 until 2002, when he left MSC Software to establish Baszucki & Associates, an angel investment firm. He and Cassel founded Roblox Corporation in 2004. Working from an office in Menlo Park, California, they began preliminary work on the video game DynaBlocks, which was launched in a beta state later that year. The game's name was changed to Roblox in 2005, and the game was formally released on September 1, 2006.
Cassel died from cancer on February 11, 2013. In December 2013, Roblox Corporation had 68 employees, which it raised to 163 by December 2016. The company secured a $82 million investment in March 2017 through a round of funding led by Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures. Eyeing international expansion, Roblox Corporation established Roblox International and hired Chris Misner as its president in May 2018. Under Misner, Roblox was launched in Chinese (in partnership with Tencent), German, and French in 2019. By September 2018, Roblox Corporation had hired Dan Williams (previously of Dropbox) to move Roblox from a third-party cloud computing service to a proprietary one. The company acquired PacketZoom, a developer of mobile networks optimization software, in October 2018. PacketZoom, including its employees and founder and chief technology officer Chetan Ahuja, was merged into Roblox Corporation.
A "series G" funding round in February 2020, led by Andreessen Horowitz, raised $150 million for Roblox Corporation and valued the company at $4 billion. By October 2020, Roblox Corporation had begun planning to become a public company, evaluating whether to perform a regular initial public offering (IPO) or using the less common method of a direct listing. Later that month, the company filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prepare an IPO worth $1 billion, looking to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the ticker symbol "RBLX". By this time, the company had more than 830 full-time employees and 1,700 "trust and safety agents". In January 2021, Roblox Corporation announced that it would pursue a direct listing instead of an IPO. The SEC had also requested that Roblox Corporation changes how it reports the sales of its virtual currency, Robux. In the same month, Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group led a "series H" round of funding that valued the company at $29.5 billion. The NYSE approved the direct listing of Roblox Corporation's class A shares by February 2021. The shares began trading on March 10 that year, with the initial buys giving the company an estimated $41.9 billion valuation.