Video streaming player pioneer Roku seeks $100M in IPO

SAN FRANCISCO — Video streaming player pioneer Roku is going public, hoping to raise money to expand into more households and fend off competitive threats from bigger technology companies.

Roku listed a $100 million fundraising target in a Friday regulatory filing. But that figure is likely to change after its investment bankers gauge the demand for its initial public offering of stock. Companies typically complete their IPOs two to four months after filing then getting approval from government regulators.

The documents provided the first peek at Roku’s finances and other previously confidential information.

Like many young tech companies, Roku is still unprofitable. Last year, it lost nearly $43 million on $399 million in revenue. Since its 2002 inception, Roku has amassed $244 million in losses.

The Los Gatos, California, company boasted 15 million active users at the end of June, but that number doesn’t reflect the total audience that watches online video through its streaming players, which are usually connected to large-screen televisions. That’s because multiple players can belong to the same account. People streamed 9.5 billion hours of video on Roku players last year, according to its IPO documents.

Roku generates most of its revenue from selling its streaming players, but it’s increasingly bringing in money from advertising and commissions from subscriptions and other transactions made on its devices. In an attempt to broaden its audience, Roku said it may cut the prices on its players and try to increase its revenue from advertising sales.

Pursuing that strategy may require more money, one of the reasons that Roku is going public now. The company currently has about $70 million in cash.

That isn’t much to combat Amazon, Google and Apple, Roku’s deep-pocketed rivals in the video-streaming player market.

Even though it’s much smaller, Roku has emerged as the U.S. market leader in streaming players, with a 37 per cent share during the first three months of this year, according to the market research firm Park Associates. Amazon Fire TV ranked second with a 24 per cent market share, followed by Google’s Chromecast at 18 per cent and Apple TV at 15 per cent.

Most of Roku is currently owned by Anthony Wood, its founder and CEO, and Menlo Ventures, a venture capital firm. Wood, who previously invented one of the first digital video recorders, owns a 28 per cent stake in Roku and Menlo Ventures has a 35 per cent stake.

Just Posted

City prepares for legal marijuana

Legalized recreational marijuana expected to have impact on many city policies

Council turns down rent subsidies

Request for $50,000 to help fill 12 empty suites in Asooahum Crossing affordable living complex

REIMAGINE SYLVAN has begun

Waterfront area redevelopment plan to be updated

Red Deer College a top Hockey campus

Expedia Canada ranks hockey campuses

Looking out for neighbours to fight rural crime

Building community to address crime

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Ambulance’s slow response time angers family

Woman suffers stroke, waits nearly an hour for ambulance

Over-burdened refugee tribunal ditches legislated timelines for hearings

OTTAWA — The Immigration and Refugee Board is giving up on following… Continue reading

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off profile: Troy Gillard

** Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off takes place on April 14 at the Sheraton Red Deer

New mobile paramedic program starts in Red Deer

Paramedics provide on-site care to those with chronic conditions

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

VANCOUVER — A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of… Continue reading

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month