Roku spikes more than 10 percent on opening day of trading

What to Watch for in Roku's $219 Million IPO

Roku just priced its IPO at the top of its range, fetching a $1.3 billion market cap before trading on Thursday

Shares of Roku Inc. blasted off in their stock market debut Thursday, trading up as much as 65% to add to the streaming device company's initial $1.3 billion valuation. It will trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol ROKU. Blue Apron, of course, was hit hard by Amazon's (AMZN - Free Report) mega deal to acquire organic grocer Whole Foods, and the investor skepticism that followed. Not to mention, most TVs sold today feature functions to download streaming video apps.

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.

Roku, however, is still unprofitable. Video player sales dipped 2% to $117 million in the first half of 2017 compared with a year earlier despite a 37% increase in volume sales.

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And Roku operates the number-one TV streaming platform in the U.S.as measured by total hours streamed, according to the company's filing.

Roku users streamed more than 6.7 billion hours on the platform in the first six month of this year, the company said, up 62% from the same period in 2016.

In an interview with CNBC, CEO Anthony Wood said that "Advertising is our bread and butter".

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Roku was founded in 2002 and has always been admired by even staunch rivals for having crafted perhaps the most elegant user interface in the streaming game. It offers more than 3,000 channels.

While it's a popular name among cord-cutters, Roku must now prove to investors that it can compete with the tech industry's leaders. Apple, Amazon, and Google are all selling streaming hardware, and both Amazon and Google have partnered with TV makers to get their software operating systems on brand-new sets. We have seen battles between the big tech companies limit consumer choice before; for years you couldn't stream Amazon Prime on Apple TV, for example, and just this week YouTube was suddenly pulled of Amazon's Echo Show.

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