BSkyB pops up in new US$ 45mn funding for Roku

Roku 2 XS

Roku's latest model, the Roku 2 XS, launched in July 2011

US firm Roku, manufacturer of one of the most popular digital media receivers on the market, has closed a US$ 45mn round of funding which saw participation from News Corp and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), and also announced plans to introduce a new wireless, dongle-sized streaming device.

Also involved in the new funding round were previous Roku investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital, and an unnamed strategic investor.

In return for its largesse, BSkyB has secured certain business agreements that, while undisclosed, will likely enable it to push its new Now TV service (launched last week) to Roku users.

The new funds will be used to build further brand awareness through advertising, develop new international markets, and increase engineering and production to support sales growth of both hardware and digital media services on the platform, including advertising, games, transactional and pay- per-view video as well as content packages.

Roku will also be launching a new wireless, dongle-sized streaming device this autumn called the Roku Streaming Stick, which seamlessly integrates with newer TVs and consumer electronics devices.

In total, Roku has now raised US$ 77mn since being founded in 2008. Roku streaming players can be purchased in the US, Canada, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Apple revealed yesterday that it had sold 1.3mn units of its rival Apple TV device in the second quarter of this year – up 170% on an annual basis – meaning that over 4mn units have been shipped so far in its fiscal year which ends in September.

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