Roku, the emerging tech player whose streaming technology has helped power the TV industry’s great re-bundling, is planning an initial public offering it hopes will raise more than $200 million. At that price, the company is valued at about $1.3 billion.
According to an SEC filing, the company plans to start trading 15.7 million shares on Thursday, pricing them at $12-$14 on the NASDAQ. About 9 million shares will be sold by Roku itself and 6 million by Menlo Ventures, the company’s biggest investor.
Anthony Wood, who is credited with inventing the DVR, has steered Roku as CEO since its founding in 2002, resisting takeover overtures as it grew into a major force in streaming video. The company’s Internet-based streaming sticks and boxes deliver such OTT fare as Netflix, HBO Now and a host of others, but the company’s interface and software is seen as the biggest upside. Currently, it records about 74% of revenue from the sale of its devices, but it aims to have that number decline as other revenue streams such as advertising and partnerships with hardware makers — TV manufacturers licensing its interface, mainly — continue to develop.
With 15 million monthly active users, Roku isn’t quite a powerhouse, but its user interface is the envy of the traditional MVPD world. The next step in its evolution is to see if Wall Street investors buy its growth story.