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Roku is raising a $50 million round of funding in the next three months to help push its streaming media set-top boxes into more international markets, the company told Reuters today.
The company’s set-top boxes allow people in the U.S. to stream over 350 content channels on their televisions, including video, music, social and gaming services. Some of the channels offered include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle MLB.tv, UFC, Classical TV, TuneIn, Facebook, Flickr, and others. Following Netflix’s lead, Roku launched its line of streaming media set-top boxes in the U.K. and Ireland back in January with a fraction of the channels offered by its U.S. counterpart. Now, the company wants to expand further.
Roku has already sold 2.5 million of its set-top boxes in the U.S. alone. That number is likely to rise, according to Roku chief executive and founder Anthony Wood, who recently interviewed with VentureBeat about the future of the company. “The Internet is clearly going to revolutionize the way we get video,” he said.
Wood told Reuters that the new round would be necessary for Roku to launch a major advertising campaign in the U.K. leading up to next year’s winter holiday season. The campaign would give the company plenty of time to assemble a large library of content channels. Wood also said the new round is needed to expand into several new countries such as France, Germany, and Japan.
Founded in 2002, the Saratoga, Calif.-based startup has raised a total of $32 million in funding to date — making the new round the largest in the company’s history. Roku, which generates revenue through hardware sales, advertising, and channel subscription fees, made over $100 million in sales last year. The company intends to become profitable in 2013.
Update (11:25 PST) : Roku’s new funding efforts were originally reported by Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows earlier this week.
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