Roku plans IPO

Roku has hired investment banks to lead an IPO that could launch later this year as it aims for a valuation in excess of $1 billion, according to reports.

The streaming software and device manufacturer has been able to capitalise on cord-cutting, an increasing trend in the US where TV viewers have opted not to pay for cable TV. Instead, they are accessing content on digital platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV and others.  This week the company revealed that it had reached 15 million monthly active users.

Roku is said to have hired Morgan Stanley to lead the IPO, along with Citigroup and Allen & Co.

Roku’s platform has been open to carrying more TV apps than its peers, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Google Play.  Roku has been offering paid advertising options for its partners and gets a cut of advertising revenue from media companies with apps on its platform. It also licenses its software to companies including Sharp and Hitachi, allowing them to make smart TVs with built-in Roku streaming.

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