May 16, 2019
Streaming media pioneer Roku May 16 announced it is offering 1 million shares of common stock through Morgan Stanley.
The offering is expected to generate more than $80 million in funds the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it would use for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Founder/CEO Anthony Wood May 15 appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer to explaining how Roku — since launching with Netflix in 2008 — has brought streaming video in the living room through a user-friendly interface and low-cost hardware.
“Our goal is to build scale of our active accounts by licensing our technology to third-party TV manufacturers and advertising,” Wood said. “We help a lot of new streaming services build audiences for their platforms.”
Indeed, Roku has almost 30 million registered subscribers accessing proprietary and third-party content, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and pending Disney+ and Apple TV+ services.
“Streaming video is very popular right now,” Wood said. “We had almost 3 million people cut the [pay-TV ] cord last year, more than 1 million in the quarter alone. So there’s a lot of momentum right now.”
Wood was asked if big media companies such as Comcast (parent of “Mad Money” creator NBC Universal), which are launching their own over-the-top video platforms, have become “frenemies” with Roku.
“Media companies are partnering with us, not destroying us,” Wood said. “Back when we launched Roku, it was just Netflix and most media companies were trying to avoid streaming. Now they realize it’s the future and they’re heavily invested.”
He said Comcast advertises on the platform and the Xfinity TV app is on the platform, in addition to NBC content.
“Content is what drives streaming,” Wood said. “We have built a purposeful operating system for the TV. It’s designed for the business model TV.”