Virtual Game World 'Roblox' Raises $92 Million In Funding: Is It The Next 'Minecraft'?


Roblox, the social platform behind a virtual gaming world, was able to raise $92 million from a funding round that was led by Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures.

Roblox, which currently has 48 million monthly active users, follows Minecraft as highly successful games that are based on providing platforms to users in which they are only limited by their imagination.

The Success Of 'Roblox'

Roblox is a 3D sandbox platform that allows players to build structures, create games, and craft other types of experiences within it. Roblox is geared toward kids and teenagers and is currently available on video game consoles, PCs, and smartphones. Roblox is also multi-platform, which means users can play with their friends no matter what device they own, including the Oculus Rift.

The support thrown behind Roblox is primarily due to its massive growth. In addition to its 48 million monthly players, up to 1 million are simultaneously logged in at peak times. Five years ago, that number was only 7 million. Roblox also only had 68 employees at the end of 2013, and by the end of 2016, it already had 163 employees, a number that will likely increase as the player base continues to grow.

Roblox did not disclose specific earnings figures for 2016, but the company revealed that its revenue from last year is 11 times higher compared to what it made in 2011.

"We have a vision of creating an imagination platform - the ultimate platform for play," said Roblox CEO David Baszucki, who added that Roblox is being developed as a place for children all over the world to "play, create, build, and imagine together."

Baszucki added that Roblox is already profitable, with the $92 million funding round to serve the purpose of strengthening its balance sheet as the platform continues to pursue its vision. The funds will be primarily used for hiring more people and supporting the infrastructure of the company.

'Roblox': The Next 'Minecraft'?

The 48 million monthly active users of Roblox places it just behind the 55 million monthly active users of Minecraft, which Microsoft acquired for $2.5 billion.

Even more impressive for Roblox is the fact that it has enabled a new breed of entrepreneurs on its platform. Around three years ago, Roblox introduced revenue sharing for users, giving them the option to charge other users using the in-game currency for games and experiences that they create in the platform. There are even some developers who are establishing studios with the primary purpose of working on Roblox, with 500,000 developers now creating games and experiences within the platform.

Some of these creators make monthly earnings of as high as $50,000, a figure that attracts aspiring developers into the platform, which in turn creates more games and experiences to invite more users to dive into the virtual world of Roblox.

Roblox calls to the same demographic as Minecraft, but the revenue sharing model of Roblox is a unique difference with the block-building game. Whether it can match, or perhaps even surpass, the success found by Minecraft, however, remains to be seen.

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