Roku Takes in $25M in Funding, Remains Tight-Lipped About It
Update 10/24/14: The Wall Street Journal broke the news this afternoon that Roku is planning an IPO, and stands to raise around $150 million. While it didn't cite any sources, the paper says Roku is working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Inc. on an initial public offering. The report didn't say when the IPO might occur.
Set-top box maker Roku has taken in an additional $25 million in funding, but don't expect the company to comment on it. The news only broke when journalists discovered an SEC filing the company issued yesterday.
StreamingMedia.com asked Roku public relations about the funding, but was told the company isn't commenting. Venture Beat did slightly better with this statement: " We recently closed a series of funding, which provides additional growth capital. We are not disclosing any additional information not already mentioned in the filing."
Roku has now raised a total of $153 million.
Funding announcements are usually a source of easy headlines for a company, a chance to point the way to future product growth. Roku's reticence to comment might surprise anyone except journalists who have dealt with the company before.
The first connected television sets that use a Roku operating system, created by Hisense and TCL, recently hit the market. Earlier this year, the company announced that it had shipped nearly 8 million devices, and that the average Roku user streamed 13 hours of content per week.
This summer, a report by Parks Associates found that Roku devices were the category leader, and were much more popular than Apple TV, the second most-used set-top box.
The more powerful (and expensive) Roku 4 supports 4K streaming, and adds helpful content discovery options in its upgraded operating system.
In addition, Roku set-top-box owners will get updated software with channel search and a way to follow new movie releases.
As the company transitions away from being purely a device maker and builds its TV OS, Roku wants to be one of the winners of the new world of streaming TV.
Roku has also created a reference design for a 4K TV, and is working with Netflix to provide UHD video for owners of Roku 4K TVs.
Video on-demand or live linear? New content or repurposed? Roku knows what works in set-top box video, and it's happy to share its experience with partners.
Previewed at CES, the first Roku connected TVs are almost here. Hisense and TCL give specs, availability, and pricing info.
A study of set-top box adoption finds that Roku has a commanding lead, thanks to an association with Netflix and a smart product strategy.
A second version of the Streaming Stick works with more TVs and has a lower price, providing a cord-free experience to more viewers.