Roku is planning an IPO for this year


Roku is planning an IPO for this year

Internet TV provider Roku is planning an IPO for this year, sources tell TechCrunch.

Confirming an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal, sources tell us that Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Allen & Co. have been selected as underwriters for the offering. The company is said to be seeking a $1 billion market cap in the public markets.

Roku has been able to capitalize on the cord-cutting trend, where many people, especially millennials, have opted not to pay for cable television. Instead, they are accessing content on digital platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and others.

This week the company revealed that it had reached 15 million monthly active users and 7 billion hours streamed, just in the first half of this year.  This compares to 13 million monthly actives last year and 43% fewer hours streamed in the first half of 2016.

Roku is likely hoping that this top line growth will appeal to public investors, but we have yet to see their full financial picture. The company can keep these details private until 15 days before their investor roadshow, due to a provision in the JOBS Act.

The filing will give us a better idea of hardware costs and margins. Last year, Roku introduced a low priced device called the Roku Express, for only $30. Their high-end Roku Ultra device costs $109 and has advanced picture quality. Roku also has smart TVs, which are available from brands like Sharp and Hitachi and range from $129 to $599 at Best Buy right now.

Despite offering 5,000 channels and 500,000 movies and TV episodes to its U.S. users, Roku still trails market leaders like Chromecast and Apple TV, according to eMarketer data.  They estimated that Chromecast had 30.6 million users last year and Apple TV had 20.5 million users.

While the company is planning its IPO for later this year, the timing of a public debut is subject to change.


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