© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester

By Krystal Hu and Ann Maria Shibu

(Reuters) -U.S. gaming platform Roblox Corp has put off its planned initial public offering (IPO) until next year as it works with advisers to improve the process to benefit employees and investors, the company told employees in a memo seen by Reuters.

“We’ve seen companies take innovative approaches to creating a more market-based relationship between investors and companies,” Roblox Chief Executive David Baszucki said in the memo on Friday.

“We’ve decided to take this opportunity to work with our advisors to see how we can make such improvements.”

Baszucki said the company expects to list early next year. The San Mateo, California-based firm had filed to raise $1 billion through an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and was expected to join a year-end IPO wave.

A person familiar with the company said it hoped to get a higher IPO pricing after seeing Airbnb Inc and DoorDash Inc spike on their first day trading this week, which it sees as examples of companies underpricing IPO shares and leaving money on the table.

DoorDash raised $3.4 billion and saw its stock rise as much as 92% on the first day of trading, while Airbnb jumped as much as 142% in its $3.5 billion IPO.

Earlier this year, Roblox had floated the idea of a direct listing – in which existing investors sell their shares and investment banks play less of a role – but in the end chose the IPO route, sources said.

News of the IPO delay was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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