Streaming Video Company Roku Files for US Initial Offering

Roku Inc., the maker of devices and software for streaming video that was an early challenger to traditional home-entertainment providers, filed for a U.S. initial public offering.

The company listed an initial offering size of $100 million, which it said is a placeholder used to calculate fees and will probably change. The company plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes including research and development and marketing, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Roku was an early mover in what is now a crowded market of home devices and streaming tools. It’s a specialist in an industry in which several technology giants, including Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc., are now focusing intently.

The company, which has been losing money since it began in 2002, acknowledges the risk of the “highly competitive” market, according to its regulatory filing. While competitors may be able to afford to lose money on their devices, Roku said its advantage is in its neutrality. Unlike some of the other players, Roku isn’t competing with content providers by making original programming.

“Our mission is to be the TV streaming platform that connects the entire TV ecosystem,” Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood wrote in the filing.

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