Popular gaming platform Roblox surged in its public market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The shares were valued at $45 but opened to the public markets at $64.50, a 43 percent increase. By the end of the session, Roblox shares closed at $69.50 with a market cap of $38.26 billion. Roblox went public through a direct listing.

Roblox had 652 million shares as of Wednesday, making the company worth $45.3 billion. Roblox had plans to go public through a traditional IPO but backed out on the plan after Airbnb and DoorDash underpriced their shares. Roblox chose a direct listing to avoid diluting its shares.

Roblox performed extremely well throughout the pandemic as kids stayed home. It is unclear how the company will perform once the economy reopens and kids return to school.

“Roblox has been growing for 15 years, driven by our community, driven by the awesome content, driven by our creators, and driven by our ability for people to do things together. That’s a long-term growth path, and we believe that continues forward, even after Covid,” Roblox CEO David Baszucki said on Wednesday.

“We headed into 2020 with strong organic growth which was further bolstered by social distancing restrictions,” Michael Guthrie, Roblox’s finance chief, said. “As those restrictions ease, we expect the rates of growth in 2021 will be well below the rates in 2020, however, we believe we will see absolute growth in most of our core metrics for the full year.”

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Economics, Finance and Investing