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Roku Lands $60M ‘F’ Round

Hearst and Fidelity Lead Fresh Round that Extends Roku's Funding Total to $140 Million 5/29/2013 10:19 AM Eastern

Video streaming specialist Roku said it has secured a fresh $60 million round of funding led by Fidelity and newspaper and TV station owner Hearst Corp.

A Roku spokesperson confirmed that Fidelity is indeed the unnamed “institutional investor” mentioned in Wednesday’s announcement, as first reported Wednesday by AllThingsD.

They join prior Roku investors, BSkyB and News Corp., in the new "F" round, which extends Roku’s total funding past $140 million.

Roku raised a $45 million “E” round last summer from News Corp., BskyB, Menlo Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners and an “unnamed strategic investor” reported to be Dish Network.  Earlier this month, BSkyB made a follow-on investment of $1.9 million. 

Roku said the new funds will “fuel Roku’s growth which has accelerated in the last year,” noting that it’s working with two dozen original equipment manufacturers that are making north of 3.5 million Roku-ready devices, “predominately  TVs,” that will be on retail shelves by year-end. Those Roku-ready devices are being made to access the streamer’s platform via the Roku Streaming Stick, a thumb drive-like unit that connects to TVs via a specialized HDMI link and retails for $99.99.

Roku has sold more than 5 million streaming video players in the U.S., but has not disclosed how many units it has sold in  Canada, the U.K., and Ireland.

“Roku has a significant portfolio of investment and strategic partners with very successful global businesses. Their recognition of our brand success and belief in the Roku platform is a tremendous endorsement of our potential to shape the future television experience,” said Roku founder and chief executive officer Anthony Wood, in a statement.

In addition to expanding its reach at retail and via over-the-top apps, Roku is also connecting with pay TV operators. Time Warner Cable subscribers can access a subset of the MSO’s live TV lineup via an app for the Roku platform. Earlier this month, Canby Telcom of Oregon announced that it will launch an authenticated TV broadcast package for the Roku early next month. Canby’s EZVideo channel will sell for $14.95 per month.  

 

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