Viacom invests in streaming company Roku

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By Larry Banks

Viacom is become just one of the big names in media and TV that are investing in Roku, the Internet video streaming hardware and software firm.

The cable programming company joined in a $45.4 million funding round that Roku closed last fall and disclosed just recently through an SEC filing. Viacom and Roku representatives confirmed the investment to tech site Re/code but didn’t reveal many further details.

Viacom is one of several media-focused companies that invested in Roku, which is most well know for its hardware boxes that allow viewers to watch web video on their television sets. Hearst, Dish, News Corp and British satellite TV company Sky have also invested in Roku, which has now raised more than $200 million.

Roku has also been considering an IPO for a while now, but the new investment seems to indicate that won’t happen any time soon. Meanwhile, Roku is trying to compete against rivals like Apple, Google and Amazon (Amazon previously tried to buy Roku) by getting its software into smart TVs made by firms such as Hisense. Roku claims it now has 8 percent of the connected/smart TV market.

In the fall last year, Viacom also invested in another media company, Digitour Media, a firm that takes YouTube and Vine stars on tour.

SOURCE: Re/code.

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