Roku is by far the most popular streaming media player with some reports putting it at roughly half of all streaming media player sales in the United States. Roku also accounted for 13% of all US smart TV sales in 2016.
Now Roku is gearing up for something and is looking for $200 million in new investor funding. According to a report from Fortune on Friday Roku announced that it is looking for new funding. This will be on top of the $210 million in funding from several rounds from companies such as News Corp, Sky, Viacom, Hearst Corporation, Fidelity Investments, and Menlo Ventures.
According to this new round of funding Roku is valued at around $1.5 billion, a testament to the growing demand for streaming media and streaming players.
The question is why does Roku need this money. From all appearances all is well at Roku. It recently moved its headquarters into Netflix’s old headquarters. Roku TV sales are way up, and Roku just rolled out a solid line of new players. Roku also recently partnered with Sky for a new line of cable boxes powered by Roku that have just been released in the United Kingdom.
This new round of fundraising could mean almost anything—from a major new push to expand its market share to an investment in new hardware or software. Only time will tell what Roku wants this money for.
More About Roku
Roku was originally founded in 2002 but did not become popular until 2008. In 2008 Netflix gave Roku the first generation of its Netflix streaming box: a dedicated streaming player that Netflix had developed but decided not to release. Roku CEO Anthony Wood worked on the Netflix team to build the box.
Anthony Wood is also known as the inventor of the DVR and founded ReplayTV in 1996. Anthony Wood picked the name Roku because it means six in Japanese; consequently, Roku is Anthony Wood’s sixth company according to Roku’s official bio. He has worked for Netflix, Disney, 21st Century Fox, Expedia, Macromedia, Gemstar-TV Guide, Sky, and ReplayTV.
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