U.S. gaming platform Roblox sees revenue doubling in first quarter

·2 min read

(This March 2 story corrects to clarify the CFO comment on revenue expectations referred to China in the fifth paragraph)

(Reuters) - Roblox Corp expects its revenue to double in the first quarter of 2021, the company said on Tuesday, ahead of a high-profile market debut later this month.

The company sees first-quarter revenue to be in a range of $320 million through $335 million. That would represent growth of 98% to 107% compared with the same period a year earlier.

San Mateo, California-based Roblox is among the world's most-popular gaming sites and offers a host of titles across mobile devices and games consoles.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for video games as people staying at home look for entertainment.

However, on its investor day last week, Chief Financial Officer Mike Guthrie said the company had "pretty low expectations" on revenue in China over the next few years, as it plans to invest heavily to attract users.

Roblox also said it expects daily active users of 37.6 million to 39.6 million in the first quarter, up 59% to 68% from a year earlier.

The gaming platform is going public through a direct listing, eschewing a traditional initial public offering. In a direct listing, no shares are sold in advance. The company's share price in its market debut is determined by orders coming into the stock exchange. Advocates argue it is a better to way to price new stock than an IPO.

Roblox will join a list of high-profile companies like Palantir Technologies Inc and Spotify Technology SA which also pursued the direct listing route to public markets.

For the full year ending Dec. 31, 2021, the company sees revenue between $1.44 billion and $1.52 billion.

In January, Reuters reported the company had postponed plans to go public because of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's scrutiny of how it recognizes revenue in its finances.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Christopher Cushing)