Roblox, which permits youngsters to create 3D worlds and video games, has raised a further $150 million in funding.
The corporate didn’t disclose its valuation within the announcement, however a supply with data of the deal advised us that it valued Roblox at greater than $2.5 billion — the worth that Microsoft paid to acquire Minecraft four years ago.
“It is a large yr for us that fortifies the dream,” mentioned co-founder and CEO David Baszucki .
Earlier this yr, Roblox announced that it had become cash-flow positive, and Baszucki advised me the corporate stays “extraordinarily worthwhile.” So why elevate extra money?
“In the beginning, the explanation to fundraise is to have a warfare chest, to have a buffer, to have the chance to do acquisitions, to have a powerful stability sheet as we develop internationally,” he mentioned.
As a way to help that progress, Baszucki mentioned Roblox shall be opening places of work in some areas like China (“almost definitely with a associate that hasn’t been introduced but”), however it additionally requires constructing out infrastructure like native language and native fee help.
Roblox has now raised a complete of $185 million in fairness funding. The brand new spherical was led by Greylock Partners and Tiger World, with participation from present buyers Altos Ventures, Index Ventures, Meritech Capital Companions and others.
Greylock’s David Sze has had large successes in each gaming and social media, having backed Fb, LinkedIn, SGN and others. However he mentioned Roblox is the primary firm he’s seen to “unify these two collectively on a platform in a magical sort of means.”
Apparently, Sze has identified Baszucki for a very long time — their youngsters went to the identical faculty, and Sze remembered Baszucki bringing an early model of Roblox to the science honest. Gaming corporations is usually a dangerous funding, as a result of their enterprise depends on creating new hits, however Sze mentioned Roblox is totally different.
“They aren’t making the video games,” Sze mentioned. “They’re letting the lengthy tail of builders develop all of the video games on the platform, they’re let customers resolve what the successes are. It’s far more like a YouTube or far more like an Apple with the App Retailer.”
In a blog post about the funding, Sze even instructed that a number of the subsequent large gaming franchises might emerge from the Roblox platform, a prediction he repeated in our interview
“I’d be stunned if there aren’t some big, prime quality video games that aren’t originated on Roblox within the subsequent three-to-five years,” he mentioned.
Roblox says it now has greater than 70 million month-to-month lively customers, with greater than four million creators who’ve constructed greater than 40 million-plus experiences.
After all, having a giant platform with numerous user-generated content material additionally creates dangers — as illustrated in a recent incident where characters mimed gang raping a young girl’s avatar. (Roblox mentioned a single server had been hacked, permitting customers to add code that violated the corporate’s guidelines.)
Requested whether or not these dangers gave him any pause, Sze mentioned, “Person safety, consumer security, all of the elements of getting of getting youth in your platform, it takes these issues extraordinarily critically.”
“Are we excellent? No,” he mentioned. “However I can let you know from inside the corporate that it’s an extremely excessive precedence. They’ve already performed numerous issues to assist defend and make the consumer expertise the perfect, they usually have a listing of stuff that they’re already engaged on.”
I’ll be interviewing Baszucki on-stage at Disrupt SF this afternoon, so keep tuned to TechCrunch (or come on out to the occasion!) for extra on the funding and his future plans.
This story has been up to date with the corrected quantity for Roblox’s complete funding.