Roku sets sights on Wall Street, planning IPO later this year

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Roku had tested the IPO waters in the past.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company recently hired Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and Allen & Co.as underwriters on the IPO, these people said.

The Journal said according to sources, the offering could come before the end of the year and that preliminary documents for an offering could be filed in the next few weeks.

If this seems like deja vu, it's because Roku was rumored to be going public back in 2014.

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The company reported 2016 revenues at almost United States dollars 400 million, with media and licensing contributing more than a quarter to the number.

The online streaming service box announced that it is looking to go public, seeking a $1 billion valuation for the company. That's both good and bad for the company; good because Roku can position its platform as an independent distribution channel for any OTT app, and bad because the company can't match the scale of many of its competitors who combine their streaming technologies with other lines of business. It said early this year that 13% of all smart TV shipments in the USA were Roku-equipped sets from makers including Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia, Sharp and TCL. It also licenses its software to companies including Sharp and Hitachi, allowing them to make smart TVs with built-in Roku streaming.

Roku has 15 million monthly active accounts as of June 30, 2017 that streamed in the last 30 days.

Roku investors include 21st Century Fox, Sky, Hearst, Fidelity Investments, Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.

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