Roku Closes $60M Series F Funding Round
Set-top box maker Roku has closed a Series F funding round and taken in a $60 million investment. While Roku's own statement says the round was led by an unnamed large institutional investor, All Things D pegs the new mystery investor as Fidelity. Hearst also joined as a new investor, while previous Roku investors British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and News Corporation took part, as well.
Roku will use the investment to continue to move past the set-top box. Perhaps foreseeing a day when connected TVs will drive down set-top usage, Roku has been working with electronics manufacturers to integrate its software. Roku notes that it now works with two dozen OEMs, and that over 3.5 million Roku-enabled devices will be in the retail channel by the end of the year. So far, that means TVs branded "Roku Ready," that work with the compact Roku Streaming Stick. Roku's announcement says that the company will "expand access points" to its platform, but doesn't say what form that will take. All Things D says it wants to be the operating system for connected TVs.
In March, Roku announced the latest generation of its set-top boxes, the Roku 3. This box lists for $99.99, keeps the compact shape of previous Roku devices, and upgrades the processor, Wi-Fi performance, remote, and user interface.
All totaled, Roku has taken in over $130 million in funding.
Don't blame cord-cutting on us, says Roku. When channels offer TV Everywhere programming, Roku boxes provide a way to enjoy that on-demand content.
Roku's confusing product naming is simplified with the Roku 1 and 2; customers now have dedicated M-Go remote buttons.
What set-top box gets the most use? It's Roku by a long shot, says a Parks Associates survey.
An improved user interface makes it easier to explore and discover new channels, movies. and television shows.
Streaming video has come far, but the real obstacle is people's established TV viewing preferences.
Also, Roku gains six "Roku Ready" partners and announces it has over 700 channels available.