Roblox

Roblox is more than a game, it is a virtual world.

Founder Dave Baszucki describes Roblox as an immersive, social and creative platform, a space where people can ‘play, work, learn and create together’. By combining gaming with social media, it is a platform that now boasts 70 million users and is shaking off the common misconception that this is ‘just a video game for tweens’.  

Why do we own it?

Roblox is a business that benefits from two powerful network effects – content and social. Improved content leads to a rise in users and engagement which attracts more creators to develop new experiences which in turn attracts new users. Roblox’s edge is the energy and vibrancy that is injected into the platform from all parties involved. This can be seen in the simultaneous growth of the number of active users, the volume of creators earning fees, and the diversity of users (both older age cohorts and expansion into new geographies).

Roblox is a robust platform that is only getting stronger and importantly, has many growth levers to pull when it comes to monetisation. Advertising is one of those levers. With nearly 100 brands now signed up as partners, there is the potential for big brands to be a key driver for monetising Roblox, just as they are for other online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Google.

Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to be another key monetisation driver for the business and they are well-placed to utilise the opportunities AI brings. From helping creators move and iterate content faster to democratising coding and improving safety and content moderation, AI can be deployed across the whole platform.

Who is key?

Dave Baszucki, founder and CEO, has demonstrated extraordinarily stubborn commitment to a vision, one that was ahead of its time. Founded in 2004, there was over a decade throughout which Baszucki had to be patient as the ‘flywheel’ really only kicked in in the last five years as users and developers approached a critical mass.

Insiders describe the culture at Roblox as one that encourages people to ‘think big’. When asked what Baszucki is better at than everyone else, he said I like to think that I inspire and encourage others to think outside the box. Given the lessons that I’ve learned about the power of user-generated content, I’ve learned to trust non-traditional thinking. This is manifested in the boldness of the goals he sets and a pervasive ‘just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be’ mindset at Roblox. This outlook, and the culture Baszucki has created at Roblox, is one we admire deeply.

First bought

2022

The company showcased on this page is part of a diversified portfolio. The commentary should not be taken as advice on an individual stock.

Image credit - © Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock

Roblox characters on smart phone screen, surrounded by games controllers.

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