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

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 4:09pm
The Associated Press

Roku Inc., the streaming video device maker, said Wednesday that it has 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 traditional pay TV subscriptions stagnate in the U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told the All Things D conference 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 can flip through channels using voice commands.

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

It has sold more than 5 million devices in the U.S. since its founding in 2008.

That compares with about 13 million for Apple Inc.'s Apple TV, a box that also lets people watch video from the Internet on their TVs.

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