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Roku, the over-the-top (OTT) streaming player service, plans to launch an IPO before the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter say the company has recently hired hired Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Allen & Co. as underwriters and could privately file in the next few weeks. The company reportedly expects a valuation of $1 billion

Why it matters: Roku flirted with an IPO as a hardware company in 2014 but waited until they built out their streaming services to diversify their revenue stream. So far, it seems that they've done pretty well:

  • 2016 was a record growth year for Roku, ending the year with 13 million accounts. By years' end, 1 out of every 8 U.S. smart TV's (now over 50% of the U.S. TV market) runs Roku OS.
  • The company expects a 50% increase in models this year, with 150 models available to consumers in North America.
  • Roku currently leads the streaming box and stick device OTT category over Amazon, Google and Apple in device penetration, according to comScore.

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Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 10,890,511 — Total deaths: 521,694 — Total recoveries — 5,772,017Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 2,739,879 — Total deaths: 128,740 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Regeneron stops trial after drug fails to help patientsWhat we know about the coronavirus immune response — Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Business: Top business leaders urge the White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines.
  5. Politics: Herman Cain hospitalized for COVID-19 after attending Trump Tulsa rally — Biden downplays jobs number, rebukes Trump for ignoring health crisis.
  6. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  7. States: Texas mandates face masks in public spaces Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.

Markets swell as the economy shrinks

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The economy is sputtering, but the markets are thriving — a highly unusual event that shows how the coronavirus has thrown all bets off.

Why it matters: The disconnect adds to the wealth gap. The richest 10% of households — who own 84% of stocks — are getting richer, while millions of out-of-work Americans cross their fingers that pandemic unemployment benefits will be extended.

12 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Coronavirus surges mark a "very disturbing week" in the U.S.

Fauci testifies to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told medical journal JAMA on Thursday that it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

What's happening: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.