David Baszucki is the CEO and co-founder of Roblox Corporation, a video game development company based in California. Throughout his career, he has developed innovative technologies and helped millions of young developers in the video game industry fulfill their dreams.
With a net worth of $2.9 billion as of 2022, Baszucki’s life has been trailed by a series of successful projects. He gained recognition by creating Roblox, an online user-generated game platform.
Before that, he developed a simulation software called Interactive Physics in the 1980s, which was acquired by a software company based in California.
This article will give a brief overview of the biography of the tech entrepreneur who has been pivotal in creating products that have contributed immensely to humanity.
David Baszucki was born on January 20, 1963, in Canada and was raised in Minnesota. He is married to author Jan Ellison, and they have four children. They currently reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As a kid, David grew up in Eden Prairie. He was very interested in building model rockets.
He studied Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University.
Before he graduated from Stanford, he interned at General Motors, where he was part of a team developing software to control car engines.
In 1985, David graduated from college as a General Motors scholar in Electrical Engineering.
David Baszucki’s Career
As a revolutionary engineer, David has had a fascinating career. He has always had a penchant for pioneering the next big thing in technology.
In 1989, he co-founded a company with his brother Greg Baszucki called Knowledge Revolution. It built a simulation called Interactive Physics and also developed 2D and 3D motion simulation software.
In 1998, the company was acquired for $20 million by MSC Software, an American simulation software technology company based in California.
David served as Vice President and General Manager, a position he held for a couple of years.
The Canadian-American entrepreneur later left the company to form an angel investment firm, Baszucki & Associates.
During his short stint in this new endeavor (2003-2004), he invested in Friendster, a social network game founded by Jonathan Abrams in March 2003. He also invested in Dealix, an internet marketing service specializing in the automotive industry, later acquired by Cobalt.
Inspired by the success of his simulation project on Interactive Physics, construction toys, MMOs & social networking, David and his partner Erik Cassel, who was then VP of Knowledge Revolution, started working on Roblox in 2004.
The multiplayer online game was released in 2006. Its users are primarily children and teens. As of September 2020, they reported that 29% of the users worldwide were aged from 9 to 12 years. The game allows kids to use their imagination to develop avatars and games of their own.
David Baszucki is currently the company’s CEO. He plans for it to become the Youtube of games. While the plans are ambitious, the company didn’t become an instant success. It took David and his co-founder a long decade of patience and hard work to take it where it is today.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Roblox took off. It generated over one billion page views and now hits 29 million in-game hours every month.
Over the years, the company has raised millions of dollars from several investors. In 2009, they received $2.2 million in funding led by Altos Ventures and First Round Capital.
Roblox corporation secured a second round of venture capital funding of $4 million in 2011.
Then in 2017, they closed an investment round of $92 million led by Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures.
Later, they announced closing a $150 series F funding round led by Greylock Partners and Tiger Global Management, their largest financing in 2018.
Even though he no longer runs his angel investment firm, David Baszucki has invested in 5 start-ups as a lead investor, including Ready Player Me, Clockwork Labs, Akili Interactive Labs, and ImagiLabs.
Since 2022, he has been a Board of Trustees member in the Paley Media Center – a nonprofit entertainment organization focused on celebrating the cultural, creative, and social significance of the media and its impact on society.
His strides in the industry have earned him several awards and recognitions. Among them was the 2015 San Mateo Visionary Hero Award for his company’s contributions to STEM education.
He was named one of Goldman Sachs’s 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2017.
His company was honored by the San Francisco Business Times with its Tech & Innovation award in 2017.
Having acquired significant wealth over the years, David has now dedicated his life to donating it to causes he cares about. All the additional compensation he receives as the CEO has been channeled to support and contribute to the greater good.
In March 2021, the software developer, also known as Builderman, his Roblox username, established a philanthropic organization called the Baszucki Group with his wife.
The organization’s objective is to foster change in the community and support breakthrough innovation projects by scientists.
His son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has suffered severe bipolar episodes for over five years. Finally, after several trials, a metabolic health solution cured him. Hence, one of their organization’s critical primary focus areas is metabolism & mental health.
Through the organization, they created a Baszucki Brain Research fund to support bipolar research programs. In 2021, they invested more than $13 million to fund research grants for pilot research on bipolar disorder.
After witnessing Jan’s father’s struggle and recover from lymphoma, the organization donated $6 million to the University of California in 2021.
The university launched the Baszucki Lymphoma Therapeutics Initiative, geared towards accelerating growth in the field and expanding research for the disease.
In September 2022, Baszucki, with his wife Jan, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Keystone Capital chairman Keny Dauten and his wife Liz Dauten, donated $150 million towards extensive research and treatment on bipolar disorder. Each of the families contributed $50 million.
The entrepreneur owns more than 650,000 Roblox shares. He made his most significant trade on March 10, 2021, when he sold 1,300,000 shares worth over $83,850,000 at the average price of $64.5 per share.
Since 2021, he has traded about 454,688 shares every 66 days.
In August 2022, he sold 744,000 shares which he received as part of an employee compensation plan.
For the most part, David Baszucki has made an exceptional contribution to humanity, in the first place, but also to the video game industry.
He is currently working on a visionary project that addresses human co-experience in the metaverse meant to connect millions of people worldwide and allow them to share their immersive digital experiences.
His recent philanthropic strides are focused on initiatives that improve health, governance, and the greater good.
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