Roku Picks Up $60 Million Funding Round, Begins Working On Smart TV Software

The team at Roku has a lot to celebrate after picking up a $60 million funding round from new investors Fidelity and Heart Corp. as well as previous investors BskyB and News Corp.

To date, Roku has raked in $130 million for its set-top boxes. Those devices allow customers to connect via various services including Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and various other video streaming and game services.

Roku will now begin to focus its attention on the next generation of Roku boxes and smart TV software that will ditch the box in favor of built in TV capabilities.

Roku CEO Anthony Wood tells AllThingsD that he believes TV manufactures would rather avoid making clunky software for their own televisions by having Roku create the software on their behalf. According to Wood, “two dozen OEMs” are already working with Roku to develop TV’s that come pre-packaged with Roku software and its massive selection of online content channels.

What we know right now is that the smart TV market is heating up. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced that Apple TV’s have sold 13 million units to date, six million of which were sold in the last year alone.

The Roku 3 recently released to excellent reviews thanks to a faster processor, better connectivity with wired and WiFi internet access, and a rebuilt software bundle that offers universal search and other capabilities. Shortly after announcing the Roku 3, the company also updated user software on its old set-top boxes.

Roku has moved just over 5 million set top boxes in the US and has begun selling the same devices in Canada, the UK, and the Republic of Ireland.

With new money in hand and the largest selection of video streaming services to choose from among any set-top box provider the future is most certainly looking bright for the team at Roku.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some streaming TV to watch ever since I ditched cable for my Roku box.