Roku raises $60M from Hearst, News Corp., others

Roku faces big rivals, including Apple and Microsoft, in the battle for viewers of streaming video.

Roku Inc. via Associated Press

Roku faces big rivals, including Apple and Microsoft, in the battle for viewers of streaming video.

SARATOGA, Calif. — Roku Inc., the maker of streaming video devices, said it raised $60 million in its sixth round of funding. Media giant Hearst Corp. and an unnamed institutional investor joined existing backers such as News Corp. and its subsidiary British Sky Broadcasting in the round.

Roku’s service offers an alternative to broadcast, cable, and satellite television and first supported Netflix viewing five years ago. The funding round brings the total raised to date to $140 million and comes as the battle for the living room heats up as pay TV subscriptions stagnate.


Apple Inc. chief executive Tim Cook told the All Things D conference on Tuesday that his company has a ‘‘grand vision’’ for remaking TV. Microsoft Corp. last week unveiled a new gaming console, the Xbox One, that lets users flip through channels via voice commands.

Roku says the funding will help it develop its video-streaming software and services business.

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It has sold more than 5 million devices in the United States since its founding in 2008. That compares with about 13 million for Apple’s Apple TV, a box that lets people watch video from the Internet on their TVs.

Associated Press

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