Roku files for $100M IPO

By Matt Burns for TechCrunch

Roku has filed for an initial public offering and is looking to raise up to $100 million. The company will be listed on the NASDAQ appropriately under the ticker of ROKU.

We reported in July that Roku was planning an IPO in 2017. 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. Roku is the No. 1 streaming devicewhen measured by total hours streamed.

This has been a long time coming. Roku was founded in 2002 and raised over $200 million from various VCs and investment firms. The company was key in helping create the home streaming device market. It was one of the first devices to target general users rather than the technically savvy. Roku never left that demographic. With methods like cast to tv, the streaming experience has never been better.

Today the company claims to have 15.1 million accounts and stream quarterly 3.5 billion hours of content, which is up 60 percent year-over-year.

Menlo Ventures looks to be the largest shareholder with a 35.3 percent stake, followed by Fidelity with 12.9 percent, Twenty-First Century Fox at 7 percent and Globespan Capital Partners at 6.1 percent.

Roku states its average revenue per unit is $11.22, up 35 percent. It reported $199 million in revenue in the six month period ending June 30, 2017, up from the year prior of $162 million. Its annual revenue numbers also increased year-over-year, up from $319 million to $398 million.

The company’s primary gross profit source is switching from hardware sales to its platform, mainly around advertising and subscription revenue. In January 2017, hardware sales represented 19 percent of total gross profit while down 28 percent. Meanwhile, the platform gross profit represented 81 percent of the total, up 104 percent from the six months prior.

Roku is looking to go public at the same time as two other hardware startups-turned public companies are struggling. GoPro and Fitbit flipped the switch in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and after a brief pop, both company’s stock crashed and have yet to recover. Clearly Roku is looking for a different outcome.

One more thing, we agree with Leslie over at CNBC.