Roku rakes in $60MN investment from BSkyB, Hearst and News Corp
Parent Category | 30-05-2013
Online video streaming player manufacturer Roku has received a huge financial shot in the arm from investors including some of the world’s largest media companies.
Roku says that it will use its take its $60 million to ready the company for growth around its streaming software and services businesses.
The funding in the Series F round saw participation from two new investors—a large unnamed institutional investor and Hearst Corporation—who will join existing backers such as News Corp and BSkyB whose NOW TV over the top (OTT) service and Sky Sports channel are available on the Roku platform. In 2012 Roku says that it streamed more than one billion hours of video and music.
“Roku has built a strong brand that is widely recognised for great technology and a broad selection of high‐quality content,” commented Ken Bronfin, senior managing director at Hearst Ventures, a unit of Hearst Corporation, which has existing interests in cable networks including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN. “We are truly impressed that Roku has built such a unique position in the market and we look forward to working with them to develop innovative products and services for our television audiences.”
The platform’s development strategy is to extend its platform by working with other consumer electronics brands and the company says that it is working with two dozen OEMs who are making more than 3.5 million Roku Ready devices, predominantly TVs. that will be in retail by the end of 2012. Roku Ready devices access the Roku streaming platform through the Roku Streaming Stick, a small USB-sized device and in the coming months, Roku will continue to expand access points to its streaming platform.
“[We have] 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. “BSkyB and News Corp are exceptional partners and we look forward to deepening our relationship with Hearst in the months to come.”