California-based Roku Inc mulls US IPO this year- sources

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 21, 2014 11:36 PM EST

Sources told Bloomberg that Roku Inc is thinking of going public in 2014. The people added that no decision has yet been made on the matter and that the company has not yet chosen a lead banker for the undertaking. One person, however said that Roku has discussed with lenders about the possibility of an IPO. They spoke on the condition of anonymity since the talks are confidential, the report said.

Based in Saratoga, California, Roku manufactures set-top boxes that link televisions to the Internet. When approached by Bloomberg, Roku spokeswoman Tricia Mifsud did not wish to comment on the news, saying that the firm is privately-held and that its policies include not talking about future plans for financing, the report said.

Unlike Apple Inc which offers the Apple TV box and other consumer electronics, Roku could market itself as the sole pure-play firm that offering an Internet TV device to consumers. Its rivals in the space include manufacturers of game consoles and some TV makers that give online access on their devices. They are now trying to capture a market share in the rising number of people who prefer online services and those who aren't too keen on traditional pay TV, the report said.

The Roku player streams Internet videos obtained from sites like Netflix and Inc to television sets. According to last year's research from Parks Associates, Roku was used as the main device in 37% of households that had a streaming media system while only 24% used Apple TV, the report said.

Hearst Corp and an unnamed institutional investor invested $60 million in Roku in May last year. Previous backers of the company included News Corp, British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc and others the report said.

VentureBeat reported that so far, Roku has secured $127 million in total funding.

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