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UPDATE 3-Roblox IPO filing shows revenue surge as gaming thrives during pandemic

(Adds details on financial results)

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Roblox Corporation’s revenue surged in the first nine months of the year, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday in the gaming platform’s first public disclosure of its finances ahead of a U.S. stock listing later this year.

The IPO plans comes as U.S. demand for video games ramps up with consumers seeking home entertainment amid long periods of home confinement during coronavirus lockdowns.

Roblox’s revenue jumped 68% to $588.7 million for the first nine months of 2020, while net loss attributable to common shareholders widened to $203.2 million compared with $46.3 million a year earlier, the filing showed.

Roblox amortizes revenue from sales on its platform over the duration of its paying user accounts, which is around two years. Roblox’s sales in the first nine months of 2020 totaled $1.24 billion, up 170% on a year earlier.

Looking to cash in on the boom in demand, several gaming firms are aiming to float their shares as U.S. markets hover at record levels this year. Unity Software went public in September, while Playtika is gearing up to debut on the U.S. exchanges in the coming months.

U.S. consumer spending on video games rose 24% year-on-year to a record $11.2 billion in the third quarter, research firm NPD Group said.

Roblox, which is among the world’s most popular gaming sites for children and offers a host of games across mobile devices and games consoles, said its daily active user base soared 82% to 31.1 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30 from the same period a year ago.

The San Mateo, California-based company, which was founded in 2004, was valued at $4 billion in February in a Series G funding round, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, in which it raised $150 million.

Reuters reported in October that Roblox expects a public listing would double that valuation. The company confidentially submitted paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public last month.

Roblox has filed for an IPO of $1 billion, a placeholder amount that is expected to change. It plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “RBLX”.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company, BofA Securities and RBC Capital markets are the underwriters for the IPO.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Aditya Soni, Arun Koyyur and Sam Holmes

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