Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Roku's stock rockets in its Nasdaq debut

Roku's stock rockets in its Nasdaq debut

The Fox-backed company offered 15.7 million shares at $14, pegging its valuation at $1.32 million.

In its last quarter, it reported a net loss of $15.5 mllion, up from a $14.1 million loss in the same period a year ago.

Shares in Roku have soared by 50% in their first day of trading, exceeding $21 midway through the session, pushing the streaming company's market capitalization to more than $300 million.

Roku's S1 filing reveals that the video and audio streaming device company now has 15.1 million active accounts, up 43 percent from a year ago.

To compete better, the California-based firm has opened its platform to more TV apps than its peers, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Google Play, allowing it to offer over 3,000 channels internationally. In the six months to June 30, 2017, Roku made $117,329 from its hardware business, compared to $82,391 from the platform. The company lost $24.2 million in the first half of 2017. It's hoping to grow the number of hours streamed by each user, and monetize the hours through advertising, according to its prospectus.

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Consumers are already seeing what happens when one of the big three Roku rivals decides to protect its content: Google on Tuesday blocked Amazon's Echo Show, a smart speaker with an LCD touchscreen, from streaming YouTube.

Roku addressed the crowded streaming market in their prospectus as well, recognizing it as a risk and saying that "These companies have the financial resources to subsidize the cost of their streaming devices in order to promote their...products and services making it harder for us to acquire new users and increase hours streamed".

Smith noted that the other high-profile tech public offering of the year, Blue Apron, will soon be directly challenged by Amazon, which filed a trademark for its own meal kit service earlier this year.

This places a value on Roku of $1.3 billion.

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