Tag Archives: financial technology

CEO of ‘Builderman’ Roblox Goes to Wall Street with Troop of Young Gamers | Instant News


Chief Executive Roblox Corp. David Baszucki won the loyalty of tens of millions of videogamers with a do-it-yourself gaming approach that defies industry-specific formulas for success.

Roblox is slated to make its public market debut March 10 through direct listing, an unconventional process that allows companies to trade on the stock exchange without raising new capital. The company based in San Mateo, California, was founded in 2004, rotated from traditional public offerings last year after

By Dash Inc.

and

Airbnb Inc.

jumped beyond expectations in their IPO.

Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki, pictured in 2018, is a frequent presence on the platform, under the name ‘Builderman.’


Photo:

Steve Jennings / Getty Images for TechCrunch

Roblox’s debut is coming as the coronavirus pandemic has prompted people to do so spend more money and time on video games than before. Tech valuations have surged over the past year – Roblox was personally worth $ 29.5 billion in January, up more than seven times from early 2020 – although the stocks have recently faltered amid shifting investor sentiment that an improved economy will benefit the sector other.

Instead of relying on Hollywood-like budgets and rock star talent to produce a few blockbuster games each year, Roblox is shifting game development to its own players. These players, especially teenagers and preteens, in turn produce their own hits and earn 70% of the revenue their work generates.

“We are like YouTube, except our content is a game, and our content allows everyone to play together,” Baszucki said in 2018 while speaking at his alma mater, Stanford University. The 58-year-old man himself often appears at Roblox, using the name “Builderman”.

This approach has earned Roblox an estimated 33 million daily users who can choose between tens of millions of multiplayer games, ranging from obstacle challenges and catch the flag iterations to contests based on popular characters like Peppa Pig and Sonic the Hedgehog. The company provides free tools and instructions that players – even those with no coding experience – can use to create games for its platform.

Samuel Jordan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, took a hiatus from college about a year ago to focus on creating games and other digital content for Roblox with his business partners. The 21-year-old, who participated in the company-run accelerator program in the summer of 2019, says he made about $ 600,000 last year from his Roblox creations, up from $ 30,000 in 2019.

“This is crazy,” Jordan said, adding that the pandemic was likely to contribute to a tremendous increase. More than 300 Roblox developers made $ 100,000 or more last year, the company said.

The health crisis provided significant fuel for Roblox’s business. Revenue grew 82% last year to $ 923.9 million, while orders – sales of virtual items on the platform – more than doubled to about $ 1.9 billion.

Samuel Jordan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says he made an estimated $ 600,000 last year from his Roblox creations.


Photo:

Maria Alejandra Cardona for The Wall Street Journal

London’s Alan and Sinéidin Cooper said their two daughters, ages 5 and 10, and 7-year-old son each spent about five hours a week at Roblox before the pandemic. Now that time is doubled because they are using the platform to connect with friends. The couple treated their kids to Robux worth around $ 40 to $ 45 per month.

“It’s a great way for them to socialize,” Mr said. Cooper.

Roblox hasn’t been able to turn user loyalty into profit, as its net loss in 2020 swelled to $ 253.3 million from $ 71 million a year earlier. The company has said it plans to continue investing in the platform, which can be used for distance learning, conferences and other group experiences, such as concerts.

SHARE YOUR MIND

In your opinion, what is the price of Roblox on the public market? Join the conversation below.

Like other online hangouts featuring user-generated content, Roblox has to contend with predators and troublemakers who target children with inappropriate material – a particular concern given that more than half of the platform’s users are under 13. The company says it has made significant steps to keep users safe, such as by adding a communication filter to eliminate offensive speech.

Supporters include the large venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Altos Ventures and Greylock Partners. David Sze, a Greylock partner, said the company invested in Roblox partly because of Mr. Baszucki. While other CEOs may have switched from business models after modest initial growth, Mr. Baszucki remains confident in Roblox’s user-created mission, says Sze.

“It’s like 10 years walking through the desert without anyone trusting you,” he said. “Dave against all odds.”

Mr. Baszucki, who declined to be interviewed for this article, started and then sold a software company that specialized in physics simulation before founding Roblox with fellow programmer Erik Cassel, who died of cancer in 2013. They started making games for the platform, but soon invite other players to create their own. Roblox was released to the public in 2006.

“We immediately realized what they were building was much more interesting and exciting than anything we had ever made,” Baszucki wrote in a Roblox securities filing. Mr Baszucki is the largest shareholder of the company and holds 70% of the voting rights. He will forego cash and equity compensation for seven years after Roblox goes public, and in return qualify for a performance-based stock award, which he intends to donate for philanthropic causes.

Mr. Baszucki was an investor in Friendster, an early competitor for

Facebook Inc.,

and he sees Roblox as a combination of Second Life’s social networking platform and online virtual world, said Matt Dusek, a Roblox start-up employee who left the company in 2019. “He sees things as further away than anyone else around him often does,” Said Mr. Dusek.

Samuel Jordan and his business partner Kyle Hulse outside their shared office space in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.


Photo:

Maria Alejandra Cardona for The Wall Street Journal

In the following years, Roblox gradually expanded its user base. Mr. Baszucki, as “Builderman,” will greet new players digitally, appearing as one of the platform’s signature box avatars and offering tips on how to get started. Popular games inspire players to become developers, who then make more games, attracting more users – the so-called network effect.

Roblox’s user-generated gaming strategy has won praise from industry leaders. Tim Sweeney, CEO of “Fortnite” creator of Epic Games Inc., credits the company for helping gamers become game makers. “Roblox has done a tremendous job building the ecosystem,” he said in an email.

Although the company has warned that people may spend less time with its games as the pandemic fades, it wants to continue to add to its base of more than 8 million developers. Similar to other videogame publishers, Roblox is also looking to join more brands like

Nike Inc.

and

Mattel Inc.

about marketing promotions.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

.



image source

Musk’s Tesla said it has invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, bringing the cryptocurrency to a record high of nearly $44,000 | Instant News


Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. stated that it had acquired $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in January and that it could accept payments in the world’s number one digital asset in the future.

Tesla
TSLA,
+ 2.20%

The purchase was revealed on Monday in the Securities and Exchange Commission (Securities and Exchange Commission) regulatory documents, which helped push up the price of Bitcoin
BTCUSD,
+ 12.92%

To around $44,203, it was up more than 13% in CoinDesk’s early trading.

Tesla stated in its 10-K application to the U.S. market regulator: “In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with greater flexibility to further diversify and maximize our Cash return, which is not needed to maintain sufficient operational liquidity.”

The document continues: “Furthermore, we hope that in the near future, in accordance with applicable laws and on a limited basis, we will begin to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for our products. After payment is received, we may or may not Liquidation.”

This move is because Musk has recently won greater support for digital assets on his social platform.

Late January Musk Mark Using the cryptocurrency in his Twitter biography, then adding the hashtag #bitcoin to his Twitter resume, and then he wrote on Twitter: “In retrospect, it was inevitable.” At the beginning of this month Musk posted “doge” on Twitter with no further comments, Refers to the digital asset meme asset Dogecoin.

Tesla became one of the larger companies that invested in Bitcoin and allowed payments through digital assets created in 2009.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in Monday’s study: “Although many people on Wall Street are discussing the prospects of Tesla’s move, this morning’s news made Musk and Tesla The strategy of jumping into the abyss of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is formalized.” Attention.

However, other mainstream companies have begun to make headlines, focusing on their interest in Bitcoin and making virtual assets part of their balance sheets.

As early as 2020, the software company MicroStrategy
MSTR,
+ 15.29%

Said that it invested in Bitcoin in September 2020, thus achieving a leap of faith. According to the announcement on August 11, the token received 21,454 bitcoins, worth 250 million U.S. dollars at the time, and became the entity’s reserve assets. Coin Telegraph Report.

Microstrategy’s move raises the question of whether other companies might consider investing some of their reserve assets in Bitcoin.

Ives wrote: “Ultimately, investors and other industry observers will pay close attention to this to understand whether other companies have followed Tesla’s leadership approach to cryptocurrency, or on the other hand, it is still Are the few names that make Bitcoin strategically leap forward?”.

Bitcoin’s record rise is mainly due to the interest of institutional investors and businesses.PayPal Holdings Limited
PYPL,
+ 3.07%

After a narrower deployment, its cryptocurrency platform was opened to all US customers last November.

Investment experts said that as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen, the rise in the price of Bitcoin is also drawing attention to the asset.
Taoism
+ 0.63%

And the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
+ 0.49%

Let market participants worry about the overvaluation of stocks when interest rates are around 0%.

So far, the price of Bitcoin has soared by 50% in 2021.At the same time, the S&P 500 has risen 3.5% so far, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 1.8% so far, and the high-tech Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
+ 0.49%

It is up 7.5% so far this year.Gold price
GC00,
+1.26%

It has fallen 3.5% so far this year.

Several prominent Wall Street investors including Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones have accepted Bitcoin. Bill Miller, the famous investor of the founder of Miller Value Partners Letter to customers An article published on the company’s website earlier this month reiterated his optimistic view of Bitcoin.

.



image source

The future of startup cryptocurrency Ripple hangs on the SEC’s case | Instant News


Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s chief executive, last year publicly contemplated at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the initial public offering for the San Francisco startup.

The company recently raised about $ 200 million in a venture funding round led by Tetragon Financial Group, with a valuation of $ 10 billion. The value of its flagship product, a cryptocurrency called XRP, has fallen over the previous year. But Ripple is poised to rebuild the infrastructure for cross-border trade, said Garlinghouse, promising that its future is bright.

A year later, the IPO was canceled. Instead, Ripple’s future hinges on the judge’s decision in a civil suit filed in December by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Regardless of the outcome, this case is expected to set a major precedent for how US regulators create rules and laws covering cryptocurrencies. It also highlights a broader truth about most digital currencies: Beyond the two largest, bitcoin and ether, most of the hundreds of others have struggled to find utilitarian value beyond speculation.

At the heart of the SEC’s suit is the debate about XRP, a bitcoin-like digital asset created by the founder of Ripple that will grow to become the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency. It is designed to be part of a network that will help banks cut costs in cross-border transfers. The related software, however, never gained traction, the SEC accused, leaving XRP with no apparent purpose, other than to funnel sales to Ripple.

.



image source

American Express lags behind as travel and entertainment fail. What awaits us for the stock in 2021. | Instant News


Text size A sign displaying the American Express logo can be seen outside a restaurant Justin Sullivan / Getty Images With the year almost over, we take a look at the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, starting with the worst performing – Boeing and Walgreens Boots Alliance – and we’re making our way to the highest stock in the benchmark – Apple. Rankings may change before the close of trading 2020, but the stories behind the stocks shouldn’t. American Express (AXP), which caters to affluent individuals and small businesses, is likely looking forward to closing the books in 2020. Shares are down 5.1% on the year, marked by a sudden and steep decline air travel, hotel stays and entertaining dining. Businesses are letting people work from home, leisure travel is at an all-time low, and small businesses are struggling to survive public health shutdown mandates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index gained 6.3% while the S&P 500 index is up 15.4% this year. American Express derives 60% of its revenue from merchant discount fees, 20% from interest on loans and 20% from card fees, says Lisa Elllis, analyst at MoffettNathanson, who initiated the action on a purchase earlier this month, with a price target of $ 155. . The company has a market capitalization of $ 95 billion. The year has started well for American Express, hitting a high of $ 138.13 before stumbling 51% to a low of $ 67 on March 18. It’s the same pattern as the other stocks – since mid-March, stocks have steadily gained ground. But the pandemic took a toll on results. First-quarter earnings per share of 41 cents are well below expected $ 1.46, with second-quarter earnings per share even lower, at 29 cents, according to FactSet. Profit for the full year is expected to be $ 3.31 per share compared to $ 7.99 last year. Sales for the year 2020 are estimated at $ 36.2 billion compared to $ 43.5 billion in 2019. Vaccines and the return to more normal activities can make American Express stock a good deal for those. who seek to join the trend of reopening. It trades at a forward multiple of 17 compared to Mastercard’s 40 and Visa’s 38, according to FactSet. Write to Liz Moyer at [email protected]



image source