Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) opened strong as the company launches its IPO on Thursday. The company and its 8 million opened at $15.90 a share. Shortly after opening, shares surged nearly 30 percent and was trading over $18 shortly after the launch. Roku was listed under the Nasdaq market under symbol ROKU.
On Wednesday, the media streaming company expected the IPO value to be roughly $219 million and open shares at around $14, putting the company value at approximately $1.3 billion.
Roku reported $398.6 million in revenue last year, up 25 percent from $319.9 million in 2015, but the company still lost money. It posted a net loss of $42.8 million in 2016, lower than the $40.6 million the year before, according to CNBC.
Even with the net loss, Roku’s user base is still growing more and more each month. Roku has reported that the company has approximately 15 million monthly active users.
Roku is notably known for allowing its users to to stream videos from media sites, such as YouTube or Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), onto phones, televisions, and other forms of display systems. The company also sells its own streaming products and televisions.
Roku is also planning on expanding its advertising business.The company says it’s hoping that users will spend more hours on its platform, which in return generate the company more revenue through the advertisements.
The advertising business has generated a large sum of revenue for many technology companies. Companies such as YouTube, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) have all integrated advertisements into their services. Facebook recorded $9.16 billion in revenue solely off advertisements. Ads for Facebook represented over 90 percent of Facebook’s quarterly revenue in the second quarter this fiscal year.
"Roku's position in this ecosystem is being the platform that ties together the customers, the advertisers, the user, and we've been competing with big companies for a long time very successfully… we do it by winning customer reviews," Anthony Wood, Roku Founder and CEO, told CNBC in a TV interview Thursday.
Although there are other giant companies such as Netflix, that already have built a huge user base for its streaming services, Wood says that he is not worried about its competitors. Wood believes that Roku will come over on top.
Wood says that the company’s growth will be revolve around the advertising business.
"Advertising is our bread and butter. As the world moves to streaming, that means all TV advertising is moving to streaming. There is a huge opportunity to become the next generation advanced TV ad platform," Wood told CNBC.