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Roku Flirting With An IPO: Report

Roku Could Pull Trigger This Year As Competition With Apple, Google and (Soon) Amazon Heats Up 2/22/2014 12:51 PM Eastern

Roku, a prominent member of the red-hot streaming video market, could pull the trigger on an initial public offering later this year, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Roku, the subject of IPO rumors in recent years, is merely weighing such a decision and has not selected a lead banker, the report added. Roku declined to comment.

The report also emerges less than a year after Roku landed a $60 million “F” round that extended its total funding past the $140 million mark. “We’re well capitalized…we’re not focused on going public," company CEO Anthony Wood told Bloomberg last May. “It’s not a priority for us right now.”

Roku’s break and butter has been specialized streaming players and a software platform that support more than 1,200 apps/channels, but at the Consumer Electronics Show in January the company branched out into direct TV integrations, announcing initial deals to have its platform baked into select TVs from TCL and Hisense starting this fall. Roku also has deals with several other TV manufacturers that are building or have built sets that are compatible with the Roku Streaming Stick, including urtis, Element, Haier, Insignia (Best Buy’s CE brand), Oppo, Apex, Sceptre, and Polaroid, among others.

Word of Roku’s latest interest in an IPO comes as it continues to face fierce competition in a streaming player market that includes the Apple TV and the hot-selling Google Chromecast, which recently launched a software development kit that should greatly boost the number of apps that support the TV-connected streaming adapter.

Also on the competitive horizon is Amazon and its long-rumored video streaming device. Re/code reported earlier this week that Amazon is gearing up to launch its Android-powered box in March. Ironically, Amazon reportedly made an offer to buy Roku in 2012.

In January, Roku said it had sold just shy of 8 million Roku players in the U.S., but has not released any sales figures for Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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