Roku Receives $60 Million from Fidelity, Hearst, BSkyB, and News Corp.
Roku announced today that it has raised $60 million in a Series F round led by a “large institutional investor” (later confirmed by AllThingsD to be Fidelity). Other participants in the round include new investor Hearst Ventures, a unit of Hearst Corporation, and existing investors British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and News Corp. This brings Roku’s total funding to $130 million. Last July, Roku announced a $45 million round from BSkyB, News Corp., Menlo Ventures, and a couple of other investors.
According to Roku, the new funds will go toward the continued development of its streaming software and services. This includes continuing to “expand access points” to its platform, which streamed more than one billion hours of video and music in 2012. The company has been collaborating with about two dozen device manufacturers to develop and release more than 3.5 million “Roku Ready” devices (predominantly TV sets) by the end of the year. These TV sets would support and come packaged with the Roku Streaming Stick, a USB-sized device that users can plug into their TV in order to access the Roku platform.
In addition to the funding, Roku notes that there are “various technology development and distribution opportunities that may arise with these companies.”
Ken Bronfin, senior managing director at Hearst Ventures, confirmed as much in the announcement: “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.”
Anthony Wood, Roku founder and chief executive officer, expressed similar delight for the endorsement from Hearst: “BSkyB and News Corporation are exceptional partners and we look forward to deepening our relationship with Hearst in the months to come.”Tags: BSkyB, Fidelity, Hearst, News Corp., Roku, Roku Streaming Stick