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Roku Eyeing Possible IPO

24 Feb, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Roku Inc. reportedly is considering a public launch this year — a move that would up the device manufacturer’s profile and war chest as it seeks to capitalize on the burgeoning streaming-media market.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku helped launch Netflix’s subscription streaming service in 2008 after founder and CEO Andrew Wood’s efforts to bow a set-top box while working for Netflix never materialized.

Roku has been in discussions with investment banks regarding an IPO but hasn’t selected a lead banker, according to Bloomberg Technology, which cited a source familiar with the situation.

Privately-held Roku, per policy, doesn’t discuss its fiscal policies or strategies.

Roku topped Apple TV as the top-selling standalone IPTV device in 2013 with 37% market share, according to research firm Parks Associates. Roku last April announced it had sold more than 5 million devices. Roku, which is home to hundreds of third-party content channels, has seen competition in the streaming-device market ratchet up significantly after Google bowed the Chromecast USB dongle a year ago.

Google recently denied scuttlebutt it would launch Chromecast in the United Kingdom next month with select TV manufacturers.

Roku previously received $45 million in funding from News Corp. (before it split off 21st Century Fox Inc.), and its majority-held satellite operator British Sky Broadcasting Group. Last year, Hearst Corp. gave Roku an additional $60 million in funding.

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