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Roku Planning $100 Million IPO

4 Sep, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Roku, the streaming media manufacturer that helped Netflix launch the SVOD market 10 years ago, plans to go public by the end of the year, according to a Sept. 1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

While the number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not been disclosed, reports suggest Roku is looking to raise $100 million. Roku plans to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ROKU.”

According to the filing, Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku had 15.1 million active accounts at the end of June 30. The users streamed more than 6.7 billion hours on the Roku platform — up 62% from the six months ended June 30, 2016.

Notably, Roku said its platform is changing TV distribution, driven by hosting services such as DirecTV Now, Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue; transactional channels Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and Vudu; HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, among others.

“We are pushing TV advertising out of the 1940s — when Bulova watches launched the first TV ad — and into the data-driven, machine learning, era of relevant and interactive TV ads,” Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in the filing.

At the same time, the company lost $24.2 million through the first six months of the fiscal year on revenue of $199.7 million. The loss was less than its fiscal-2016 loss of $42.8 million on revenue of $162.2 million.

The bulk of revenue ($117.3 million) came from sales of Roku devices, compared with $82.3 million from platform-related revenue.

Wood, who does not have a written employment agreement with Roku, this month saw his annual base salary increase to $1 million from $750,000.

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