Shares of Roblox Corp. jumped 54% Wednesday after the online-videogame company began trading publicly via a direct listing.
With its user base surging over the past year, Roblox became the latest technology company to come to public markets during a pandemic that has pushed more entertainment and social activity online. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company, founded in 2004, operates a free platform that lets members play online games developed by other Roblox users.
By releasing existing shares for direct sale to investors, Roblox also joins a growing list of companies that have gone public while bypassing a traditional initial public offering in recent years. Roblox, however, raised no new capital from its New York Stock Exchange listing.
Shares of Roblox opened at $64.50, above the reference price of $45 coming into Wednesday. The stock, which trades under the symbol RBLX, hit a high of $74.83 and closed at $69.50.
Based on the company’s opening trade, Roblox is valued at about $42 billion. A fundraising round in January valued the company at $29.5 billion.