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AP Images

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.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

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